Historic Houston Slave Cemetery Bulldozed

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In Houston this week, a family and a community were left dumbfounded and devastated when a historic cemetery was bulldozed without warning.

The Bradshaw Cemetery in Houston dates back to the 1800s. Slaves and veterans who were denied access to burial elsewhere are among those buried there, News 92 FM reported. No one knew who was bulldozing the cemetery – or why.

More below the jump.The Bradshaw Cemetery is marked on local maps and recognized as one of the historical cemeteries in the city. Members of the Nelloms family, who own the property, did not know who was responsible for the destruction.

Jeremy Nelloms was at the cemetery at the time, and when he noticed trespassers beginning to destroy the space, he approached them. They stopped, but Nelloms does not know who they were or why they were causing such destruction in the cemetery. For him, this is very personal. Nelloms explained, “I don't want to see my grandmother dug up out of the ground. There's no way. I'd die before I'd let that happen.”

Harris County Historical Commission representative Trevia Wooster Beverly suggested that the trespassers could possibly have been developers who were unaware of the presence of the cemetery. She warned that developers ought to be cautious when excavating near burial sites, because bulldozing over graves, as they did at Bradshaw, is illegal.

After the trespassers were approached, they cleared their equipment and left the property, along with questions for those concerned about the safety of the historical site and the damage they caused. With no clear idea of who was behind this or why, it is hard for the Nelloms family to believe this is over. They can only hope that whoever caused the damage won't be coming back.  


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Genevieve Cato

Genevieve Cato is a feminist activist and a native Texan. While not writing for the Burnt Orange Report, she can be found working for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, serving as a community member of the Communications Committee for the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, and drinking copious amounts of pretentious local craft beers.

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