Segregation still lives on in Waller County, TX … for the dead.
In March of 2007, a white woman was found murdered on the side of a road. Her mutilated face covered in a plastic bag, and her hands severed. Everything about her still remains a mystery – her name; her past; her killers – everything but the color of her skin.
Her body was stored in a morgue for $50 a day. A year later, DeWayne Charleston, a black justice of the peace, finally made a decision. He saw this woman as a chance to make a change in his county. In Waller, a small county outside of Houston, an old tradition still lives on – their cemeteries are segregated – white and black.
Justice Charleston ordered the black owned Singleton and Sons Funeral Home to take Jane Doe’s body and bury her in the all-black cemetery of Oakwood. But before the funeral home could complete the task, Owen Ralston, a white judge and Waller County’s highest elected official, ordered the white owned Canon Funeral Home to take Jane Doe and bury her in the all-white Canon Mathis Cemetery.
Waller County: Race at Six Feet Under explores race relations in a small Texas county through their segregated cemeteries and the mysterious murder of a white woman that no one seems to know or care about, except for the color of her skin and where her dead body is finally laid to rest.
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