When the City of Dallas widened Central Expressway in 1993 it expected to find maybe 12 graves. When the bulldozers quickly exposed human bones, a thorough archeological survey and exhumation began. The survey concluded that within the existing boundaries of the 1869 Freedman’s Cemetery there were over 10,000 graves, and that Central Expressway and the surrounding streets were covering hundreds of additional graves. In the end a total of 1,157 bodies were exhumed from under the roadways and relocated to a mass grave within the remaining cemetery grounds. The story of the Freedman’s Cemetery is long and convoluted, making it hard to fully stitch together the historic importance and neglect of this land and the forgotten African American citizens it contains.
2525 N Central Expressway, Dallas, TX.
Copyright 2012, Brad Ford Smith.