The Bridge that Carried Us Over

Organized by the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition

American University Museum, Washington, D.C.

June 11–August 7, 2022

The Bridge that Carried Us Over explores the mechanisms by which the transfer of intergenerational wealth, land, and historical memory have been denied to the African diaspora in the United States. It offers an in-depth look at the historic Black River Road community, which thrived two miles from the American University Museum from emancipation through its violent displacement in the mid-twentieth century. The exhibition combines archival images and research—on neighborhood slaveholding estates, the free River Road community, and the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition’s ongoing struggle to protect the community’s desecrated burial ground—with community heirlooms, firsthand oral histories, and funerary objects rescued from the Moses African Cemetery. In presenting the community’s rich history in juxtaposition with the powerful forces trying to erase it over the course of centuries, the exhibition aims to elucidate one instance of the systemic structural denial of communal wealth (in all its forms) to Black people in the United States, and to provide concrete, place-based and community-led proposals for reparations.

More information is at this link.

Read the exhibition catalog online

To get involved go to the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition website