While researching information for our Juneteenth episode, we came across this information about Booker T. Washington park on wikipedia: “…an estimated 30,000 black people celebrated at Booker T. Washington Park in Limestone County, Texas, established in 1898 for Juneteenth celebrations. Attendance at the Limestone County event fell off sharply in the wake of the 1981 drowning of three local teenagers while in the custody of a Limestone County sheriff’s deputy, a reserve deputy, and a probation officer.”
There was no further information linked on wikipedia, so we began to read the article cited on the wikipedia page: The Ghosts of Comanche Crossing
This led us to a heartbreaking story about the untimely death of three teenagers while in police custody. Although the events that we talk about in this episode happened forty years ago, it all seems very present. We hope that we have done the story justice, and let more people know about the tragic events that happened that day.
Resources for Just Gravy 7:
Waco Tribune: Mexia faces long shadow of Juneteenth drowning 40 years ago
Texas Monthly: The Ghosts of Comanche Crossing
New York Times: Doubts Unresolved On Texas Drownings
***Correction from audio: More than 1,400 people attended the funeral of Freeman and Baker, not 14,000. Please excuse Kelly, she is better with words than she is numbers.