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Funding Approved For Memorials At Forgotten Tampa Cemeteries

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Rebecca O'Sullivan of the Florida Public Archaeology Network at USF and other researchers conduct ground penetrating scans at the Robles Park Village Housing Complex in 2019. COURTESY FLORIDA PUBLIC ARCHAEOLOGY NETWORK

The Florida Senate has agreed to set aside $100,000 to erect memorials at two nearly forgotten cemeteries where hundreds of African Americans are buried in the Tampa area.

The move Wednesday comes amid outrage over years of neglect and indifference over the cemeteries. In some cases, developers paved over graves.

The money would be used to erect memorials at Zion Cemetery and Ridgewood Cemetery.

Scores of black cemeteries in Florida are unmarked and some want to set up a statewide task force to help identify and memorialize now-forgotten burial grounds for enslaved people and their descendants.