Even though, once upon a time, almost every country in the world used to have slavery system, especially in the US the African-Americans faced excessive exploitation by the so-called white people, who forced them to work as a slave. Now, after decades, archaeologists claimed that at a construction site in Texas they have found 95 bodies of those abused African-Americans, who were pressurized to work during the 20th century.
You may have read about such exploiting incidents in history books or maybe have watched in many movies, such as the Academy Award-winning film, "12 Years a Slave," where the torturous life of a free-born Afro-American professional violinist, Solomon Northup, was portrayed. When he left New York in 1841 to visit the capital Washington D.C. for a musician's job, he was first drugged and then kidnapped by some people, who later sold him as a slave and he had to work for 12 years without his will.
Like Solomon, there were uncountable Afro-Americans who suffered from the same torture. The newly discovered graves in Texas indicates that these dead bodies belong to those exploited so-called Black Americans. The findings, which was announced on Monday, July 16, will shed a light to the dark history of humankind when the Afro-Americans in the Southern states were treated like slaves even after the independence of the nation.
As per The New York Times, the excavation took place at a construction site outside Houston, where Fort Bend Independent School District was building a new school. After analysing the collected bones, the archaeologists claimed that these dead bodies belong to those African-American labourers. However, the researchers also mentioned that during that era the state of Texas outsourced prisoners to work and live on plantations.
They also found out that the graveyard, which is also on the plantations ground, was used from 1878 to 1911. Examination of over 20 bodies provided a result, which suggested that these people were aged between 14 and 70, but all of them were Afro-Americans.
A professor at the University of Houston who specializes in African-American archaeology, Ken Brown has stated that such findings from this time period are extremely rare, but the rarest will be the graves of those black prisoners from the convict lease era.
He added that now people have a chance to study "what the actual bone material has to say about what life was like — we know it was crappy, we know it was tough — but what impact does all of that have on the body?"
The researchers are also preparing to conduct a few tests, which will reveal the diseases of those prisoners, their food habit and also about their native land. Reign Clark, a lead archaeologist on site added that "It really does change the history books in Texas."
It should be noted that after the independence, the slavery was abolished in 1865 by The 13th Amendment but, it also added that punishments can be given in case of any crime. As per Prof Brown, many states like Texas had taken the advantage of this clause and started to outsource the prisoners as forceful workers.