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Mark in Texas History: Woman makes it her mission to memorialize Slocum massacre victims

Updated: Feb. 20, 2021 at 6:37 PM CST
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ANDERSON COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - It was 110 years ago when groups of armed white men shot and killed Black residents of Slocum, a small town in Anderson County. The Black residents who survived scattered, never to return.

Constance Hollie-Jawaid is a direct descendant of one of those victims and she’s led an effort to make sure the Slocum Massacre isn’t forgotten.

“My grandfather shared stories of the massacre with me. My uncles, my father, sisters’ history that’s been in our family since 1910. We pass it on,” Hollie-Jawaid said.

Every year, family members return to Slocum to perform a ceremony of liberations for their ancestors.

“There are hundreds of people who are buried in mass graves here in Slocum, not just our family members but there were many other families that were killed during the massacre, and they’re buried in mass graves. We’re trying and have been trying to recover our loved ones and reunite them with their families for a proper funeral,” Hollie-Jawaid said.

Less than 10 years ago, Hollie-Jawaid found an unlikely alliance with a man who wrote a book about the Slocum Massacre.

“I thought, ‘That doesn’t sound like a story a doughy white guy like me should write.’ I thought, ‘Surely someone has written about this.’ I got on the internet machine and there was nothing, and it was something I knew I could write.”

Together they led the effort to memorialize the massacre with this historical marker, which was erected in 2015.

The Slocum Massacre Historical Marker is located on FM 2022, six-tenths of a mile south of FM 294.

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