Bipartisan Romney bill would preserve African American burial grounds

Sen. Mitt Romney

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) recently offered a bipartisan bill that would establish the United States African American Burial Grounds Preservation Program within the National Park Service (NPS).

“Burial grounds are a place of solemn remembrance, allowing us to connect the present with the past and honor the history of our loved ones and communities,” said Sen. Romney. “It is important to preserve and protect African American cemeteries around the country for generations to come.”

Sen. Romney on Feb. 16 signed on as the lead original cosponsor of the African American Burial Grounds Preservation Act, S. 3667, with bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). 

If enacted, the bill would establish the NPS program to provide grant opportunities and technical assistance to local partners that would research, identify, survey, and preserve historic African American burial grounds across the country, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmakers.

Sen. Brown pointed out that the United States has not invested the necessary resources to preserve these hallowed grounds. 

“That’s why we’ve worked with the community, and with civil rights, veterans, and historic preservation groups to introduce bipartisan legislation to preserve historic Black burial grounds around the country,” he said. “We need to act now before these sites are lost to the ravages of time or development.”

S. 3667 has been referred to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for consideration.