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Historian to speak on preserving Cape Girardeau cemetery

Blythe will be speaking at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 28 at SEMO’s University Center in Ballroom...
Blythe will be speaking at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 28 at SEMO’s University Center in Ballroom A on the fourth floor.(Jeremy)
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 4:40 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) will host Historian Bob Blythe as he gives a presentation on Shady Grove Cemetery and it’s significance to Cape Girardeau history.

Blythe will be speaking at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 28 at SEMO’s University Center in Ballroom A on the fourth floor. This presentation is free to all who wish to attend.

According to VisitCape, Shady Grove Cemetery is one of the cemeteries that was maintained by newly free African Americans in the South after the Civil War.

Blythe will also discuss ongoing effort to preserve and commemorate African American cemeteries nationwide and the integral part they play in our collective history.

This event is co-sponsored by the Bollinger Center for Regional History and the Historic Preservation Program, Department of History and Anthropology and Southeast Missouri State University.

The following is a statement from VisitCape on Bob Blythe and Shady Grove Cemetery:

“Shady Grove Cemetery’s history provides us with insight into Slavery in Missouri. Including, the freedom and challenges that African Americans faced in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War during Reconstruction; What the roles of the church, school, and mutual aid societies were within the Black community and the significant role of African American men, like Washington Giboney who fought to preserve the Union.”

“Bob Blythe has his B.A. in American History from Roosevelt University and an M.A. in the History of Architecture from the University of Illinois, Chicago. He retired from his position as the Regional Historian for the Southeast Region of the National Park Service in 2006. He has undertaken several assignments as a consultant since then, including a history of Everglades National Park and National Register nominations for sites connected to the Civil Rights Movement in Wisconsin.”

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