The remains of 95 African-Americans discovered at a Sugar Land construction site last year will be honored in a public ceremony this month.

The vigil, scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 17, will be held at the James Reese Career and Technical Center, on the same site where the remains were discovered. The “Blessing the Ground” ceremony is expected to feature several performances and a candlelight walk, according to a press release from the Fort Bend ISD. In the days and weeks following the ceremony, a private burial service will occur, the news release said.

The remains are believed to be part of the convict-leasing system, where prisoners were contracted out to perform cheap labor across the state. Their discovery in 2018 drew national attention and gripped the surrounding community.

“This has been an unprecedented journey for Fort Bend ISD, and the time has now come for us to lay the Sugar Land 95 to rest,” Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Charles Dupre said in a written statement. “These 95 souls suffered a grave injustice during their time on earth, but we remain committed to ensuring that their lives are not forgotten, and that our students will learn about this part of our history for generations to come.”

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