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Atlanta, Georgia: Strange Graves of Oakland Cemetery Team Field Report

Oakland Cemetery

248 Oakland Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA
Cemetery entrance is at the intersection of MLK Jr Drive SE and Oakland Ave. SE. Jack Smith's statue-topped mausoleum is a hundred yards inside the entrance, on the right. The Confederate obelisk and Lion are further in; turn left to reach the next cemetery road, then turn right.
Gates open daily dawn-dusk. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Oakland Cemetery.

Strange Graves of Oakland Cemetery

Atlanta's oldest cemetery includes the jaunty mausoleum-topping statue of Jack Smith. Report... [12/21/2017]

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Strange Graves of Oakland Cemetery

According to the primary tip, Smith's fortune came from bricks made by hundreds of mostly enslaved black convicts... after the Civil War. At best this is misleading, given that slavery was outlawed by the 13th Amendment just after the Civil War ended.

[dennis lovelady, 12/13/2020]

Blacks continued to be enslaved in the South even after the passage of the 13th Amendment, as a result of the convict labor system used by companies such as Smith's. African-Americans would be arrested on trumped-up charges, then forced into exhausting and dangerous labor that sometimes had no end date.

Oakland Cemetery.

Strange Graves of Oakland Cemetery

This is one of the oldest cemeteries I have seen. It's huge!

[Vance Erwin, 08/12/2019]

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