St. Helena Island
The island of St. Helena was one of the first free black communities in the South.when the island was liberated
soldiers during the Civil War, Confederate sympathizers fled the island, creating a free African
American community. The population of the island remains predominately African American today.
|I loved life like a budding broad
I never had the nerve to kiss.
Take back your medals,
Stamp on the stars,
Then cry for me,
Please anybody cry for me.
Lick my dead wounds,
-James Van Der Zee
|Wealthy families were able to honor their dead with crypts. These structures were in no way 'better' than a tombstone, merely a more expensive honorarium. However, the passage of time has caused the few remaining on St.Helena to fall into disrepair.||
Tabby walls were used to surround family grave sites. They were made primarily of shells and other materials.
|The tradition of placing walls around family grave sites does not limit itself to tabby walls. Bricks, stone, and other materials can be used to create the wall.||