If These Stones Could Talk offers a remarkable account of centuries of African American life in central New Jersey, highlighting themes of dignity, resilience, family, and faith. Authors Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills begin the book by posing the question of what two small-town, middle-aged African American women can do to reshape how American history is taught and perceived. The answer, it turns out, is a quite a bit. Buck and Mills are gifted storytellers and prodigious researchers, and the story they paint on the canvas of the region’s African-American cemeteries is local history at its best – deeply rooted in place, attentive to power dynamics and change over time, and meaningfully intertwined with the broader narratives of American history.

Dr. Jill Ogline Titus, Associate Director, Civil War Institute and Co-Coordinator, Public History Minor, Gettysburg College