SUGAR LAND (AP) — A judge has given a Houston-area school district permission to exhume the remains of what historians believe were nearly 100 imprisoned African-Americans buried in unmarked graves when they died more than a century ago.

The decision Monday means the Fort Bend Independent School District will begin a months-long process to exhume the graves.

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Bones were found earlier this year as the ground in Sugar Land was being prepped for a $59 million career and technical center for the district’s students.

The area is near the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery, which contains 31 marked graves for primarily white guards and prisoners on land once part of the Imperial State Prison Farm.

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The Houston Chronicle reports that University of Houston anthropology professor Kenneth Brown wants someone with a specialized knowledge of African-American history to help examine the remains.

 

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