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White House Boys: A story of modern day slavery

Mahogany Linebarger | 8/14/2013, 4:02 p.m.
White House Boys: An American Tragedy by Roger Kiser

“The whole town benefitted from the labor of the boys,” says Mr. Huntly. Dozier campus is located in Marianna, Florida. In the 1950’s the town was a small “panhandle” area with very poor residents. Mr. Kiser explains that the crops and agricultural work the boys were made to do was largely for the benefit of the town.

Forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle will be leading the search at the Dozier campus. In early searches she and her team found almost 50 grave sites some with more than one person in them. The search is made difficult by the fact that there is no record of any deaths at the school but it is known that at the very least 80 boys dies there.

For Ms. Kimmerle and her team, they are hoping provide answers as to how many boys died at Dozier and possibly identify them. From there it is up to the stats of Florida to decided if the remains should be returned to the families for proper burial.

“ I wish for some kind of closure to the families members,” says Mr. Gaddy. Mr. Huntly says that what he hopes for in all this is a straightening of the record. “They took a part of life that they could never get back.”

Mr. Kiser says that first there needs to be a formal and genuine apology by the school and the state. From there the remains of the boys should be returned to their families and the campus should be either sold or remodeled in a respectable way.