Lane Street Project: a day of reclamation, no. 1.

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. 

We remember.


  1. This is amazing! Thank you Ms. Henderson for your passion and leadership in helping to reclaim the rich history of the Black Community in Wilson and honoring the memory of those who contributed so much to our history.

  2. I don’t know why this cemetery fell into this state, however, I am extremely happy this group of people are locating the graves of Wilson’s great ancestors.

    Linda Tart

  3. Thank you to all of you for your service to the community and to the past. Reading this brought tears to my eyes.

  4. The best way for me to express my utmost gratitude and undying support for this journey and the many other incredible action research projects as led by our dear sister , LISA HENDERSON, is to honor her with this song which is a testament of who she really is to us and who she is to the memory of a great African people whose legacy has endured the test of time despite the vines and debris. Let us rejoice in knowing that Spirits never die and Truth smitten to the earth rises again. Thank you Lisa for liberating all of us through your unwavering determination to seek , find, and tell the whole truth , the whole history! May God continue to grant us the strength of our ancestors and may God’s peace be upon you forever, Lisa.

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