Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Miller, Darcy Shane

Committee Member

Lambert, Shawn

Committee Member

Hunter, Christopher

Committee Member

Zuckerman, Molly K.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Applied Anthropology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures


The Brush Arbor Cemetery is an early-to-late 19th century Black cemetery that was also the meeting place of one of the first Black church congregations in Starkville, Mississippi. The cemetery has suffered greatly from structural violence and degradation. Utilizing Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), this research has revealed important information about the Brush Arbor Cemetery. The results of the GPR survey suggest there are 54 potential unmarked burials in addition to 35 marked burials. The Viewshed analysis suggests that the likely meeting place of the church congregation is in complete view of the white Odd Fellows Cemetery directly across the street. The Nearest Neighbor Index shows that the remaining headstones are randomly distributed throughout the property, but that the vandalism of these headstones are dispersed indicating that vandals target undamaged headstones on the property. Although this research recognizes the structural violence that has taken place at the Brush Arbor Cemetery it also highlights the ongoing vandalism that continues to transpire on this landscape.