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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Gibson Grove A.M.E. Zion Church Gone But Not Forgotten: The Archaeology of an African American Church

  • Author(s): Jones, Alexandra
  • Advisor(s): Wilkie, Laurie
  • et al.

The history of the African American community in Cabin John, Maryland has never been fully explored until the community's oldest church burned down. From the ashes, came the story of a resilient community which began in the 1880's and still exists today. Gibson Grove A.M.E. Zion Church Archaeological Project began as project to help a church rebuild its structure after a terrible fire. Utilizing a collaborative approach the project became a community archaeology project. This resulted in integrating various segments of a community that had previously limited contact with each other.

The archaeology did not yield the initial research goal results, but the information which was revealed was far more informative. The information lead to new research queries which in turn changed the direction of the project. The information obtained also gave a voice to the previously silenced African American community in Cabin John, thus illuminating their contributions to the development of Cabin John.

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