Originally Posted: July 19, 2018
Dr. Catrina Whitley, Gwen Bakke, and Abigail Fisher are working on a historic African American cemetery in Houston. Dr. Whitley is a Dedman College alumna and a former adjunct lecturer in the Department of Anthropology. Gwen Bakke and Abigail Fisher are SMU anthropology Ph.D. students.
A school district in Texas unearthed a long-forgotten cemetery, during a construction project, which archaeologists now believe contains the bodies of black forced-labor prisoners.
The remains of 95 people were discovered in February in the city Sugar Land, just southwest of Houston. This week, researchers announced the bodies likely belonged to black people who were working in forced-labor camps, at a moment in history, between 1878 and 1910, when slavery had already been abolished. The discovery was made when the Fort Bend Independent School District broke ground for a new technical center.
“I think it’s a remarkable opportunity for our community and our school district to learn much more about the history of our local region,” superintendent of schools Charles Dupre said in a statement to Newsweek. READ MORE