Historic Freedmen’s Town bricks returned to Fourth Ward street

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HOUSTON — It was a joyous occasion Friday morning in Freedmen’s Town where Houston public workers returned several historically significant bricks to the Fourth Ward.

Mayor Sylvester Turner, officials with the Department of Public Works and several community leaders gathered around 11 a.m. at the corner of Genesee and Andrews street to commemorate the reinstallment.

The bricks had been temporarily removed in November 2016 to complete storm drainage improvements in the neighborhood.

The removal of the bricks sparked outrage within the Fourth Ward community as residents watched construction workers unknowingly destroy an invaluable piece of history.

The neighborhood cried out, reminding the city that the bricks in Freedmen’s Town are more than street pavement but a symbol of freedom. After the Civil War, free slaves laid down the bricks as they built the district just east of Houston’s downtown area.

Turner went to Twitter with a quick response after being notified about the mistake, reassuring the community the construction project was not authorized and should have not occurred.

Now after nearly six months of anticipation, the bricks are being returned as promised.

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