PAHG Board of Directors & Officers
Barbara Barksdale, Chair, is the President of the Friends of Midland Cemetery in Steelton, PA, and a founding member of the Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds. In 1993 she began the effort to restore the Midland Cemetery, and has made it her mission to restore, preserve and educate the public about the rich history of those buried at the cemetery. She has spoken widely across Pennsylvania and around the country sharing her experiences at Midland and advocating for African American cemetery preservation. As a researcher, she is a member of the local History Detective’s group. She serves on the board of the Steelton Historical Society and the educational committee of Historic Harrisburg Association. She is also a past board member of the Dauphin County Historical Society. She has also contributed research and information for published books and movies. (Board Term 2021-2023).
Crystal Crampton, Vice Chair, led the restoration of the Historical New Garden Memorial U.A.M.E. Church Bucktoe Cemetery along with the Southern Chester County Land Conservancy, (formerly known as TLC), members of New Garden Memorial Church, and countless community volunteers. The cemetery is the final resting place of ten members of the United States Colored Troops and approximately 122 local residents. Crystal is a member of the board of directors of the Underground Railroad of Kennett Square (KURC) as well as the head of marketing. She believes that “Everyone matters. There is a birth and a death date, and it is what you do in the dash that matters.” (Board Term 2021-2024).
Steven Burg, Secretary, is a professor of history at Shippensburg University specializing in public history and historic preservation. For almost two decades, he has been working to preserve the historic Locust Grove Cemetery in Shippensburg, PA. From 2013 to 2019, he served as a member of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Board. Since 2018, he has been leading the Pennsylvania African American Cemetery Documentation Project at Shippensburg University focused on locating and documenting Pennsylvania’s African American burial grounds. (Board Term 2021-2023)
Brenda Barrett, Treasurer, is the editor of the Living Landscape Observer, a site providing commentary on landscape scale conservation, historic preservation and sustainable communities. She worked for the National Park Service in Washington DC and also served as a Bureau Director in both Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the State Historic Preservation Office. A former board member of US ICOMOS, she is a member of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes. (Board Term 2021-2023)
Joe Becton, Board Member, earned his Associates Degrees in Social Science at the Reading Area Community College, and his Bachelors in History degree at the University of West Florida. He studied slavery at Yale University with David Brion Davis. Becton has been a Director of Visitor Services and retired as a Supervisory Park Ranger from the National Park Service. He is also an officer of the 3rd Regiment United States Colored Troops Reenactors. Becton created and operates Becton Tours and Historical Services. (Board Term 2021-2024)
Jeanie Glaser, Board Member, is a genealogist and place historian who joined up with PAHG in 2015 while researching a local historic cemetery for the enslaved in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Swarthmore College with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and concentrations in Art History and Sociology. She is also a Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh 2020 alumna and is in the process of completing her Certified Genealogist® application through the Board for the Certification of Genealogists. She is a member of both the Association for Professional Genealogists and the National Genealogical Society. (Board Term 2021-2024)
Bertha Jackmon, Board Member, is the Church Historian at Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Devon, Chester County, and steward of the church cemetery in which 21 United States Colored Troops are interred. She is also a board member of the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society, Chester County. (Board Term 2021-2023)
Sheila Jones, Board Member, has a long tenure as a supporter of Eden Cemetery in Collingdale, PA. She has served on multiple boards and committees as an expert on African American cemeteries. She currently serves on the board of the Eden Cemetery Company. (Board Term 2021-2024)