In East Austin, TX, 15 headstones at a historically Black cemetery that rests around 12,000 people were vandalized.
CBS Austin reports that over the weekend, someone defaced headstones at Evergreen Cemetery with blue paint. Two of the fifteen headstones at the corner of 12th Street and Airport Boulevardhad the words “Kirk” and “AIDS” sprayed upon them. Another one has a sideways 8.
The vandalized headstones were discovered by the Parks and Recreation Department on Monday morning and are believed to be random. There has been a police report filed for the incident.
The Evergreen Cemetery was established in 1926 as a resting place for the city’s African American community. It became the city’s first major municipal graveyard for Black residents because many of them were buried in shared sites before that.
There are many prominent Black community members buried at Evergreen Cemetery, such as Elmer Akins, the radio announcer that has been recognized as having had the longest continuously running radio show in America in 2002 by the Texas Association of Broadcasters.
Oscar Leonard Thompson, the first black graduate from the University of Texas, as well as Dr. L. June H Brewer, was also one of the first admitted to the University of Texas graduate school in 1950.
He later went on to become an English professor at Huston Tillotson College. Both men are buried there as well.
While there’s no word on who committed vandalized the headstones, the city is holding a vigil supporting the area on Wednesday at 6.pm.
Photo Credit: Edgar Bibian / EyeEm