Convict leasing, a gruesome practice that started in 1867, was highly profitable for states across the South and for the families who owned plantations. It was a time when Sugar Land, Texas was known to carry a network of sugar cane farms and state-sanctioned labor camps after the abolition of slavery. It also wasn't uncommon for Black men to be arrested for often times bogus or trumped up charges, so that plantation owners could build a solid workforce of leased laborers. But in February of 2018 at a construction site during excavation, human bones were discovered. Later, an investigation resulted in 95 African-American bodies buried in unmarked plywood coffins, ushering in the country's first-ever convict labor camp cemetery to be analyzed and studied. Join us as I SEE U takes a "FEEL" trip to Fort Bend County and explores a recently opened educational exhibit called, "Sugar Land 95." Community and Civic Engagement Coordinator, Chassidy Olainu-Alade, guides host Eddie Robinson on a tour of the memorialization site as well as provides riveting and emotional detail of yet another piece of hidden history that social studies textbooks across America failed to include.
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