Bethesda Historical Society

January 23, 2024 - Bethesda's 153rd birthday!

The Forgotten African American Community of River Road

by David Kathan, Amy Rispin and L. Paige Whitley (2017)

Paper’s Conclusion

“The history of the River Road African American community parallels the history of many African American communities. After the Civil War, families and friends purchased marginal land and established aworking community built on the pillars of faith, education and support. In time, demands for this land brought outsider speculation and perhaps other opportunities and the community moved on.

Today, Macedonia Baptist Church is the only tangible reminder of this forgotten community. The mystery of what happened to the graves of the River Road Moses Cemetery remains as well, and in the wake of new area development challenges it is imperative that the mystery be solved and respect given to those who occupied this land in both life and death.”