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Birmingham's Black History

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1898 George and Eliza Taylor sketch-1We have recently discovered more about Birmingham's Black heritage, which connects to pioneer families in the area from early in the 19th century, and through the tumultuous years leading up to and following the Civil War.  It all started with discovering the published obituaries of two formerly enslaved people buried in Birmingham's Greenwood Cemetery. Read more about George and Eliza Taylors' lives after emancipation: George Taylor, Freedom Seeker, by Donna Casaceli
Obituary of George B. Taylor, (Transcribed), Birmingham Eccentric,  Nov. 8, 1901
Obituary of Eliza Taylor, (Transcribed), Birmingham Eccentric, Apr 25, 1902
Black History Month BouquetsTo help commemorate Birmingham's Black history, flowers are placed during Black History Month by museum staff on the grave sites of Eliza and George Taylor and Abbie and Abe Farmer. Read more about the symbolism of the flowers and the burial traditions of formerly enslaved people in this article by Donna Casaceli. 

Watch a virtual tour of Greenwood Cemetery featuring George and Eliza's story, hosted by George Getschman of the Friends of the Birmingham Museum and listen to Joy F. Downs Young's talk about discovering the Taylors at the November Meeting of the Fred Hart William's Genealogical Society: 

Abbie farmerA series of articles explore our Black history through four African American and Indigenous multi-racial families who became connected to each other and to Birmingham, forming the foundation of the larger story of our community's racial heritage:

Additional articles explore the connection of early Birmingham to the Underground Railroad and anti-slavery activism in early Michigan:
Elijah Fish: Abolitionist, by Donna Casaceli