Eldren Bailey (1903-1987) was a sculptor known for large concrete sculptures. Born in Flovilla, Georgia, he moved to Atlanta at an early age. He first worked with the railroads, but he later became a mason. Many of his sculptures were brightly colored and adorned his front yard. Where he was most prolific though was helping many Black-owned funeral homes with the creation of grave markers.
Admittedly, I had always interpreted these as temporary markers, and for some families, they might have been true. For many, these markers are now permanent. Bailey’s markers differ from many of the other concrete markers seen in Black cemeteries.
Some of his larger pieces did end up in museums, but many of the sculptures seen in his front yard have disappeared.
This is a heavily modified Rosenwald school in Jonesboro, Georgia. Built for $5325 in 1931, this served the community as a three-teacher type school. There has been some push from the community to restore the school. Based on what.I could assess, it was not in use.
Still, an active cemetery, the Jonesboro City Cemetery highlights a combination of Victorian monuments, handmade markers, and manufactured ones. It also illustrates that it was a segregated cemetery. The Black section sits at the back of the cemetery, and it has several markers showing men and women who were born into slavery but lived past the end of the Civil War.