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US Air Force to Expand Search for Grave Sites at Base Belonging to Black Cemetary

The US Air Force has announced plans to expand its search for grave sites in a base site that was once a Black Cemetery at a base in Florida after locating 121 potential sites already.

According to Western media, a non intrusive archaeological survey carried out in the last two years at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa discovered 58 probable graves and 63 possible graves. 

Back in 2019, the Tampa Bay History Center alerted MacDill officials on the possibility of a Black cemetery and dedicated a memorial on site to the ones buried underneath. 

The headstones at the Port Tampa Cemetery were reportedly removed when the base was under construction back in the 1930s, however, the bodies remained there. The area is required to stay free of any vertical structures for aircraft safety. 

Officials have stated that they will resume working with the community to “determine how to best document the site and to pay respect to the people buried there.”

Yvette Lewis, president of the NAACP Hillsborough County branch, said that the officials have gone “above and beyond” in a quest to resolve the concerns of the community members, but stated that she would appreciate seeing additional efforts to ensure the story is told in the right way.

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