Date Awarded

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Neil Norman

Committee Member

Andrea Wright

Committee Member

Hannah Rosen


This thesis examines a group of 114 burials found within the Terre Haute African Cemetery in Midlothian, Virginia, using gender and resistance as frameworks through which to understand the relationships that members of the historically Black Huguenot Spring community had with the American funeral industry as it developed parallel to the cemetery’s use history from roughly 1800 to 1934. The movement for the beautification of death and increasing emphasis on material goods for funerary commemoration beginning in the nineteenth century did not occur in a vacuum; this work explores the ways in which Huguenot Springs community members chose to participate and adapt these practices to their needs and economic context. This thesis is also interested in the legacies of historic African American cemeteries as sites for community memory, vindication, and the enactment of agency, both historically and today.



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