Jennifer Blanks, a Ph.D student at Texas A&M, takes notes outdoors

App developed by graduate student aims to help preserve African-American cemeteries

mobile app that helps document the existence and conditions of African-American cemeteries in Texas is being developed by Jennifer Blanks, a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Sciences student at Texas A&M.

“Documenting is really important,” said Blanks. “The knowledge of a cemetery is step one in the preservation process.”

The app’s development is part of the Texas Freedom Colonies Project™, led by Andrea Roberts, assistant professor of urban planning.

Roberts’ project is dedicated to the history, planning, policy and preservation of freedom colonies — self-sufficient, all-Black settlements founded in the Lone Star State between 1865-1930 by formerly enslaved people.

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