Saturday , September 25 2021

Florida: 145 African-American cemetery graves were found under the school

Inspector Jeff Eakins spoke on the podium about the findingsImage copyright
Hillsborough County Public Schools / Twitter


Inspector Jeff Eakins said many of those buried at the site were children

The tombs of 145 people have been found under a secondary school in Tampa, in the state of Florida, USA.

They are part of the Ridgewood Cemetery, a mid-20th-century funeral for the poor.

The coffin – buried in a depth of 3-5 feet (1-1.5 meters) – was found using ground-penetrating radar after the school was notified of a possible grave location.

Records show that more than 250 people were buried there, most of them African Americans, the school said.

Up to 77 of them are babies or young children.

The city opened Ridgewood in 1942 and sold it to a private company in 1957. The school district acquired land in 1959, opening the King's High School in 1960.

At present, the site consists of open land and school farm buildings.

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Plans are being made to remove buildings, according to school district Inspector Jeff Eakins.

"We want to ensure that the people buried on this site are respected," he said.

While the radar used cannot confirm what is actually beneath the surface, the patterns of the findings match the historical burial records.

As for graves that have not been taken into account, some may have been moved or not taken by radar because they have deteriorated or, in the case of children, their small size.

"I am fed up with this. This is very painful," Yvette Lewis, president of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was quoted as saying by the Tampa Bay Times.

"That is hatred of people who look like me. It is so sad of me that people can hate you this much, that they can treat you less."

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