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95 African American bodies unearthed in Sugar Land is a ‘painful reminder’ of ‘systemic discrimination’ in the justice system
News Release
Monday, July 23, 2018

Sugar Land, Texas -- At the former Imperial State Prison Farm site in Sugar Land, archaeologists unearthed an entire plot of graves for 95 black forced-labor prisoners from Jim Crow era. Additionally, the Washington Post reported, “The unearthed gravesite recalls one of the darkest periods in U.S. history…[and] vindicates the prisoners whose backbreaking work helped rebuild the state of Texas in the ruins of the post-Civil War era without so much as a proper burial to acknowledge their contributions." [Washington Post, July 18, 2018]

Sri Preston Kulkarni, former US Diplomat and the Democratic Nominee for Congress in TX-22 issued the following statement:

“Our community was disturbed this week to discover the remains of dozens of bodies, which appear to be of African-American chain gangs used as forced labor for plantations during the Jim Crow era, as they were unearthed in Sugar Land. This discovery is a painful reminder that racial oppression and violence are part of the history of our community, and have shaped the development of our current criminal justice system, which continues to incarcerate more people than any other country on earth, and disproportionately people of color.  We cannot erase the mistakes of the past, but we can chart a course for a better future by addressing the systemic discrimination that still exists today and committing to serious criminal justice reform.”

“Today, Fort Bend prides itself on being the second most diverse county in the country. As a candidate running to be the first minority ever elected to U.S. Congress here, I have great hope that our vibrant diverse community can lead the way on progress, as long as our decisions are all rooted in ethical and moral values that bring us together as a society and treat people from all backgrounds with equal dignity and respect.”

Remembering Jim Guidry

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