Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Michael L Blakey

Committee Member

Grey Gundaker

Committee Member

Hannah Rosen

Committee Member

Robert Cassanello


The end of slavery in North America presented an opportunity for African Americans in Jacksonville, Florida to reinvent themselves. The reconstruction era brought about new social, political, and economic opportunities for African Americans living in Jacksonville. Despite the failure of Reconstruction and the implementation of Jim Crow, Jacksonville gave birth to a vibrant African American aristocracy. Jacksonville's Black elite comprised of doctors, lawyers, morticians, religious leaders, business people and other professionals. Jacksonville's Black elite thrived in the early half of the twentieth century, many of them used their knowledge and skills to contribute to the social and economic development of Jacksonville's African American community. During this period, Jacksonville's African American aristocracy provided their community with legal protection, healthcare, vocational training, employment opportunities, goods, and other critical services such as life insurance and burial. This study centers on a historical African American cemetery cluster that was established during the early twentieth century by Jacksonville's Black aristocrats. This cemetery cluster consists of four cemeteries which include: Pinehurst, Mount Olive, Sunset Memorial, and Memorial. This cluster is located on the Northside of Jacksonville city, along the intersecting roads of 45th street and Moncrief road, and contains an estimated 70,000 African American burials. I argue that this cemetery is reflective of the social, political, and economic changes undergone by Jacksonville's African American community.



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