Pleasant Shade Cemetery Needs You

By: City of Newport News

Memorial Day Clean Up Event
The nonprofit East End Neighborhood Association needs assistance this Memorial Day to help clean and care for Pleasant Shade Cemetery, the oldest and largest African American cemetery on the Virginia Peninsula. The cemetery was abandoned by its owners, and the East End Neighborhood Association has made a commitment to restore dignity through periodic cleanups of the property and other measures.
The next clean-up is being held on Monday, May 30, starting at 9:30 a.m. at Pleasant Shade Cemetery, 520 Shell Road in Hampton. Volunteers are asked to bring their own mowers, trimmers, gloves, and a willingness to make the cemetery beautiful again.
Pleasant Shade Cemetery dates back to 1888, comprises roughly 20 acres, and is the final resting place for over 15,000 individuals. Among those interred there are Evangelist Elder Solomon Lightfoot Michaux, founder of Church of God; Attorney James A. Fields; Lawyer J. Thomas Newsome; and former Newport News Mayor Jessie M. Rattley.
Financial donations are accepted and can be mailed to The East End Neighborhood Association, PO Box 9233, Hampton, VA 23670-0233.
For more information, please email Artestine Lang at

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