Montgomery's Lincoln Cemetery Sees Improvements, Volunteers Recognized


By Tamika Bickham

Two years ago, the Lincoln Cemetery Rehabilitation Authority started cleaning up the historic Lincoln Cemetery on Harrison Road.

This month, the members were honored by the Alabama Historical Commission for their commitment and hard work which has transformed the cemetery.

Just a few years ago the cemetery was overgrown and abandoned with bones left exposed. Since then, volunteers have been working hard to clean up and bring history back to life.

Lincoln Cemetery opened in 1906 as a cemetery for African-Americans, one of them was Butler Browder's mother.

"She was the lead plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court decision, Browder v. Gayle, that changed segregated seating on buses.

Browder says few people know of his mother's legacy. Aurelia Browder was the lead plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle. It was a lawsuit that ultimately made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court where segregated busing was ruled unconstituional.

"This is where they thought their last days would be," said Butler Browder.

Here in Montgomery, and ultimately in a clean and kept Lincoln Cemetery.

"It's a historic place and these people that were buried here had a purpose in life," said volunteer, Phyllis Armstrong.

It's where Browder's family roots run deep.

"When I want to think about those moments that I wanted to share with mom, I know where mom is and this is where mom is," said Browder.

The Alabama Historical Commission awarded the Rehabilitation Authority a grant that they say they will use to purchase ground penetrating radar. The radar will allow them to locate the graves with and without markers, so they can determine the boundaries of the cemetery.

What's onFull Schedule

Hot Video From AP

AP Video