Glenwood Cemetery (Huntsville, Alabama)

Color image of Glenwood historic marker
Glenwood Cemetery historical marker

City of Huntsville

African American Civil Rights Network (AACRN)

Glenwood Cemetery, an AACRN member, is a significant historical property that represents the transition of black lives from slavery to the reconstruction era. It represents the last resting place of important black figures and is a significant storehouse of local African American history. The layout of the cemetery, hand-scribed gravestones, depressions and mounds without markers, all reflect the architecture of of the cemetery and the historical and cultural characteristics of the deceased and those who buried them.

This truly uniquely historic cemetery offers residents and visitors an unusual glimpse of a part of history that is rapidly disappearing in other cities. Preseving that heritage is important to the African American Civil Rights Movement. The first efforts to identify and document burials at Glenwood began in 1991 when Mrs. Ollye Conley took her students from the Academy for Space and Foreign Language to the cemetery on a search for Huntsville's African American history.

Documenting Glenwood Cemetery became a special project of the Academy. Mrs. Conley, her students, and parents used information from the gravestones to research those buried there and their history. Mrs. Conley and her class received commendations from President Clinton and President Bush for their work. The research compiled led to the listing of Glenwood Cemetery to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register in July 2015. A database of burials has been created for the cemetery. The cemetery provided a community resource for education and research.

The Glenwood Cemetery became part of the African American Civil Rights Network in February 2021.

The African American Civil Rights Network recognizes the civil rights movement in the United States and the sacrifices made by those who fought against discrimination and segregation. Created by the African American Civil Rights Act of 2017, and coordinated by the National Park Service, the Network tells the stories of the people, places, and events of the U.S. civil rights movement through a collection of public and private resources.

Last updated: January 2, 2024