Burr Oak: On the Colored Side

By Joy Lynn Clark


Published on: Oct 9, 2017 @ 05:03By Joy Lynn Clark

(this story has been edited from the original)


I have four ancestors buried at Burr Oak Cemetery on the famous Colored Side.  Mother Mamie Roberts, Bishop William Matthew Roberts (CME ), Mamie Thompson and George Thompson I.  My ancestor Bishop William Matthew Roberts started Chicago’s Original Roberts Temple. Bishop William Matthew Roberts has an honorary street on Chicago’s Southside (crossing 42nd Street west of Vincennes).   The Historic church was much farther East (near Drexel) and was demolished in the mid-1990’s. I am no blood relation to the founders of the New Roberts Temple CME located near Ashland.

All four ancestors are buried in a cemetery not far from where my family lives. All four relatives are ancestors on the Clark side. In, 2007 Chicago was rocked by The Burr Oak Cemetary scandal which resulted in a class action lawsuit that went on for years. The racism was unbearable and outrageous.

The TV and Newspapers covered it on a regular basis.

Bishop William Matthew Roberts spoke at Emmett Till’s Chicago funeral.
This is the father of my fathers mother’s mother
This is the mother of my father’s mother’s mother
The mother of my father’s mother

This is the father of my father’s mother

Joy Clark is a writer, producer, vocalist, and publisher. Lexington, KY

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