Hundreds Gather For 125th Anniversary Of South-View Cemetery To Celebrate The Dream Of Six Former Slaves

By Special to the Daily World
More than 200 people gathered on a brilliantly sunlit Palm Sunday to celebrate the dream of six former slaves who founded the historic South-View cemetery located on Jonesboro Road in southeast Atlanta.

The occasion was the 125th Charter Day celebration of the hallowed grounds. The great-great-great grandson of famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass shared a personal story during his remarks at the celebration. He explained how, during one event, he ended up standing next to the actual shoes of Frederick Douglass and he was tempted to try them on. But he didn’t. “I decided that no one could ever fill the shoes of Frederick Douglass” he told the crowd.

Other speakers included Lisa M. Borders, former vice mayor of Atlanta and now head of the Grady Hospital Foundation. She also spoke of her grandfather, the late Rev. William Holmes Borders, who is buried at South-View. Christine King Farris and her daughter and granddaughter participated in a special ceremony to honor those who are buried on the grounds.

The president of the Historic South-View Cemetery Preservation Association, William Allison, received the prestigious Phoenix Award presented by the City of Atlanta. Allison also announced the launch of an innovative cell phone tour by which visitors can now be taken around the cemetery’s historic location. Funding was provided in part by a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Ford Foundation.

The preservation foundation is also looking for special pictures and stories from family members who have loved ones included in the South-View family. Please share your special memories for commemorative material as well as the development of future projects.

Learn more about the history, art and the preservation efforts with a special walking tour. For more information, visit or call 404-622-5393.

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