Pinellas students mark 19 blank graves in African American cemetery

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A group of high school students is learning history and heritage by helping family members of the deceased.

Lincoln Cemetery in St. Petersburg is home to more than 4,000 unmarked graves. It's not uncommon to see collapsing and exposed graves at the historic African American burial site, but some students from Boca Ciega High School want to help preserve the history and legacy of the grounds.

The students are working with the Lincoln Cemetery Society and families of those who rest there to create grave markers for 19 previously unmarked graves.

Timia Fonville says it's taken a lot of research and work, but they're glad to see it pay off.

"Hearing the story, it was very heartbreaking," Fonville said. "Four thousand people [and] their families don’t know where they are, but it makes me feel good to tell stories to people who may not have been heard."

Thursday, a group of 50 students marked the 19 graves and they say there's more work to be done.