HOUSTON (FOX 26) - It was a labor of love and survival that resulted in freed slaves paving Andrews Street and others in Freedman's Town. That was back in the late 1800s after the city back then refused to help.
"They've disturbed some bricks already, but I guess they're not aware, just don't mess with the spirit of our ancestors. And guess what, that's what they're doing right now," community activist DeLloyd Parker said.
For years activists in the historic Fourth Ward fought the city of Houston over the bricks. The city wanted to remove them and eventually replace them for drainage improvements. Residents in Freeman's Town fought in court and won a temporary restraining order just last year. And out of the blue, a contractor's construction crew working on drainage for the city dug up the bricks, according to Parker.
"Many other people spoke out and stood up and spoke against this action," Parker said. "But it seemed not to matter to some because I'm sure these contractors are not doing this without having gotten the word from somebody in charge with the city. I don't know."
City investigators and reps from the contractor came out on the scene and pulled the plug on work at this location on Andrews. But that's after many of the historic bricks were disturbed, destroyed, and moved.
Mayor Sylvester Turner, on a trip to Mexico, sent out two tweets on this issue. He wrote the contractor should not disturb the bricks. He went on to say no one had his authorization to move bricks on Andrews Street. In the meantime, Parker says he is not surprised by what has happened in historic Fourth Ward.
"If you white us out of the history books, if you white us out of all the real significant history of our past, why would I be surprised if you want to remove some bricks that have our history tied up into them, " Parker said.