At a heated commission meeting in April, Deerfield Beach city commissioners narrowly approved a townhouse development on the site of a former cemetery.
This three-acre plot of land was not just any cemetery. During segregation, it was the only place in Deerfield Beach where the black community was allowed to bury its dead.
“Basically, the cemetery represents all the Jim Crow laws,” said Laura Lucas, a historian studying Deerfield Beach’s black history. Lucas is working on preserving the oral history of the city’s black community, and has authored a book of collected oral histories from the generation before her — a generation that was alive during the time the site was an active burial ground; many say they had family members buried there.
To read the full story and listen to the history of the Deerfield Beach cemetery and the dispute over building on the site, visit www.wlrn.org.