Bermudians began erecting permanent headstones as early as many Britons. That both black and white populations did this suggests something of the unusual status of Bermuda's black population, but in some respects the colour line became more sharply defined as increasing numbers of blacks gained their freedom. The free black generation of the 1790s began purchasing property and laid claim to the respectability and gentlemanly virtues claimed in earlier generations by aspiring whites. The monumental inscriptions composed at the ends of these people's lives must be understood as part of an ongoing campaign to assert their citizenship in the broader community.

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Journal Post-Medieval Archaeology
Elliott, B.S. (2011). Proclaiming respectability across the colour line: Headstones of free blacks in St Peter's churchyard, St George's, Bermuda. Post-Medieval Archaeology (Vol. 45, pp. 197–211). doi:10.1179/174581311X12983864588188