The 11th Bench by the Road will be placed by the Friends of Historic Eden Cemetery on Thursday, April 24th at Eden Cemetery in Collingdale, Pennsylvania, just fifteen minutes southwest of Philadelphia. The Cemetery was founded in 1902 as a place to re-inter thousands of remains from African American public, private, and parochial burial grounds, dating back as far as 1794, that were disrupted by public works projects and forced to relocate.
Over the course of Eden Cemetery’s 111 year history, a number of nationally and internationally renowned individuals have been buried there. They include opera singer Marian Anderson; poet, novelist, educator, activist, and abolitionist Frances Ellen Watkins Harper; Underground Railroad conductor and author William Still; architect and lead designer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Duke University Chapel Julian Frances Abele; the first African American Olympic Gold Medalist John Baxter Taylor; editor, poet, novelist and essayist Jessie Redmon Fauset; the influential minister, gospel composer and writer of hymnals and songs, including “We Shall Overcome,” the Rev. Dr. Charles Albert Tindley; and Civil Rights leader, journalist, editor, publisher, and longtime advisor to Booker T. Washington, T. Thomas Fortune.
The Bench placement will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 24th at Eden Cemetery.