YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — A partnership between a school and a cemetery gave new life to forgotten local black historical figures.

New history is being told through local students, and for the people buried in the Lebanon Cemetery, it’s bringing their stories back to life.

“I’ve never been a history person at all. Like, I don’t, I never really liked history, but this has kind of sparked a new interest,” said Melchi Barbour, a student at York College of Pennsylvania.

An interest in telling the stories of historic black figures that could have been forgotten over the years.

“We thought this would be a great opportunity for students to learn that history can be made by them. They can learn other histories opposed to just learning and memorizing facts which is sometimes their view of history,” said Dominic DelliCarpini, a professor and dean of the Center for Community Engagement at York College.

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Dr. DelliCarpini introduced the idea for students to discover black history for themselves, but not in a book or online, instead, the Lebanon Cemetery.

“They start to understand that history is only a snapshot only a part of what has happened in the past that it is always a choice to who we look at and what we think about,” said Dr. DelliCarpini.

Samantha Dorm, the advisor of the Friends of Lebanon Cemetery, says the group partnered with York College for the project.

“So how I view history may not be how younger generations see it, so it was really important to us to be able to help to see how others would engage in learning, in some cases about their own family,” said Dorm.

Students like Barbour are bringing stories back to life, like the life of Helen Thackston.

“I liked her story and how she was a huge educator and activist in the York community, and I thought that was kind of different,” said Barbour.

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Thackston represents just one gravestone who had her story retold, but it’s not the only one.

“Since this project started, and in trying to get this information out, some folks refer to me as a historian, I am not. I am a story teller, I am here to tell the stories of my family and it is so great to have an opportunity to have some back up to have these young folks that didn’t see it just as an assignment, but truly embraced being able to tell the stories of the individuals here, and that’s probably the greatest accomplishment of this experiment. It wasn’t just about the classroom, they wanted to tell the story of the people,” Dorm concluded.