The school district said the 95 African Americans whose remains were unearthed during construction of its James Reese Career and Technical Center will be reinterned at the same site. As part of an agreement between FBISD and the Fort Bend County Commissioner’s Court, which both have approved the terms, the school district also will provide an additional 10 acres for a memorial park and pay the county $1 million to help cover the costs associated with the plan.
House Bill 4179, signed into law last month by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, gave Fort Bend County the legal authority to own and operate a cemetery. FBISD continues to work toward finalizing an agreement to convey the land to the county.
The “Sugar Land 95,” as they have been called, are believed to have been part of the state’s convict labor leasing program in the late 1800s. FBISD said it will incorporate their history and the discovery of their remains into its social studies curriculum beginning with the upcoming school year.