CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - A new fund designed to protect and maintain African American cemeteries will help preserve three sites in Chattanooga.

Mayor Andy Berke on Friday tells the Times Free Press that the African American Cemetery Preservation Fund will supplement the upkeep of Pleasant Garden, Beck Knob and Hardwick cemeteries. Volunteers have been working to preserve the historic sites over the past few years.

Berke says the cemeteries are sacred, but they haven't been treated as sacred in recent years.

Pleasant Garden cemetery is the resting place of 1906 lynching victim Ed Johnson, who was hanged from the Walnut Street Bridge after a false rape accusation. Two of the "Scottsboro Boys," who were falsely accused of raping white women in 1931, are also buried in the cemetery.1931.

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press,

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