Today, I’m filled with gratitude.
Thank you, Craig Barnes Jr., for the day’s first and biggest find — the long-lost gravestone of Samuel H. Vick. (And for the current affairs lesson.)
“He was faithful and upright in all his works.” Samuel H. Vick’s grave marker, engraved by Clarence B. Best, has been buried under soil, vines, and leaves for more than 30 years.
Thank you, Castonoble Hooks, my biggest cheerleader, for a strong back, useful tools, and community conscience.
Thank you, Jennifer Baker Byrd, Brooke Bissette Fisher, and Brian Grawberg of Imagination Station for continuing to support — in concrete ways — the preservation of all Wilson’s history.
Working to free up Vick’s headstone. The upright marker in the foreground is that of his daughter Irma Vick, who died in 1921 at age 16.
Thank you, LaMonique Hamilton, Tiyatti Speight, and Joyah Bulluck for that next-generation sisterhood — you put in some work today!
Thank you, Charles Jones (Jamal Abdullah), for going above and beyond — when I drove down Lane Street hours later, he was at Odd Fellows with a lawn mower!
We also located Annie M. Washington Vick‘s vault cover next to her husband’s grave.
Thank you, John Woodard and Greg Boseman, for your efforts to correct and redirect narratives about East Wilson.
Thank you, Dr. Judy Rashid and Rev. Kim Reives, for coming all the way from Raleigh to witness and, most importantly, to pray over the work being done to honor and reclaim our ancestors.
Thank you, Charlie Farris of Wilson Cemetery Commission, for seeking understanding and seeing for yourself the conditions at Vick, Odd Fellows, and Rountree cemeteries.
Craig Barnes Jr., who first detected Vick’s headstone beneath the tangle of wisteria vines.
Thank you, Drew C. Wilson of the Wilson Times, for showing up and staying for hours to chronicle the next phase of these historic burial grounds.