Historic African American Gravesites discovered under construction after 1960's project

Evergreen Cemetery holds the bodies of former slaves, soldiers, and Houston residents. 

In the 1960's, the city of Houston hired a contractor, and they turned part of the cemetery into a median; they were supposed to respectfully remove and rebury the bodies in that area.

On Monday afternoon, Mayor Sylvester Turner stood with local pastors, politicians, and other city leaders where he revealed that at least 33 grave sites were never relocated, but instead built on top of.

"And now, we are faced in 2023, with the task of honoring those who were buried here," Turner said. 

Of the 33 grave sites found, 30 of them had pieces and remnants of coffins and bones, the other three grave sites held a significant amount of human remains. 

"This needs to be reinserted into textbooks in the state of Texas, and nationwide, to say this is what was done to African Americans in their lives and in their deaths, disrespected while they lived, and disrespected when they died," said Bishop Dixon, President of the local NAACP chapter. 


The remains were found as METRO was digging and beginning the planning phase for a METRO Rapid university line. 

Turner has suspended all construction work in the area until further notice.

"It's about making sure the city can correct a wrong that has been done as much as possible," Turner said. 

When the METRORapid project is complete, officials say there will be a monument honoring the cemetery. One local pastor also called for more funds for cleanup to be allocated to that cemetery as consolation.