Freedmen’s Town residents call on mayor for historic brick replacement

HOUSTON—These aren't just any bricks, these bricks are history.

"That's where slaves first settled, our ancestors laid these bricks down here," said longtime Freedmen's Town resident Thomas Stubblefield.

For more than two years residents of Houston's Freedmen's Town in Fourth Ward have been fighting to bring back the historic bricks that were destroyed during construction.

"No excuse for the constant delays of returning our bricks," said lifelong Freedman's Town resident Gladys House-El.

In December 2016, Mayor Sylvester Turner and city leaders promised to put the bricks back and fix the street but last year the city attempted to put down bricks from Kansas City.

And that won't cut it for these locals! Their bricks tell a story that goes back to slavery.

"Coming out of enslavement there was always a message, a guide to where the safe houses were in Freedmen's Town in the layout of the bricks," said House-El.

At least 7,000 bricks are still gone, but the mayor says Hurricane Harvey and other priorities are causing the delays

The mayor assures residents the bricks will be back in February.

"Let me see it actually occur," said House-El.

And so it begins!