Skip to main content

To Care for the Sick and Bury the Dead
African American Lodges and Cemeteries in Tennessee

Author(s): Leigh Ann Gardner

Benevolent Orders, The Sons of Ham, Prince Hall Freemasonry—these and other African American lodges created a social safety net for members across Tennessee. During their heyday between 1865 and 1930, these groups provided members numerous perks, such as sick benefits and assurance of a proper burial, opportunities for socialization and leadership, and an opportunity to work with local churches and schools to create better communities. Many of these groups gradually faded from existence, but left an enduring legacy in the form of the cemeteries these lodges left behind.

These Black cemeteries dot the Tennessee landscape, but few know their history or the societies of care they represent. To Care for the Sick and Bury the Dead is the first book-length look at these cemeteries and the lodges that fostered them.

This book is a must-have for genealogists, historians, and family members of the people buried in these cemeteries.

Biography of Author(s)