“African American Voices” Oakland Cemetery’s first cell phone tour

Submitted by Kelly Woodard (kelly@thesga.org)

Oakland Cemetery

Jeanne Cyriaque, African American Programs Coordinator for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Historic Preservation Division has notified the SGA about the launch of  “African American Voices,” Oakland Cemetery’s first cell phone walking tour, which consists of twelve burial sites, located in the African American burial section of the cemetery. Cyriaque published the article Where History Meets Technology: Atlanta Cemeteries Implement “African American Voices” Tours in Reflections, Volume X, No. 1 July 2011, which details the tour and its importance to raise awareness of the African-American community and history.

According to Cyriaque, the project has enhanced interpretative efforts and linked the African-American burial sites at Oakland and Southview Cemeteries in Atlanta, Georgia. The cell phone tours were implemented at Oakland and Southview in an effort to provide audio summaries of the lives and accomplishments of the African-Americans buried there. The tours allow the tourist the opportunity to envision the life of the individual when viewing the tombstone of the deceased. This is a great opportunity for the historic preservation community to reach the general public as a means to add summery and historical knowledge to monuments through the use of modern technology.

To take the “African American Voices” tour at Oakland Cemetery, simply stop by the visitors’ center to pick up a rack card which includes the dial-up access phone number along with a corresponding site map.