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Shockoe Bottom/ National Trusts Saving Places...
Shockoe Bottom was the center of Richmond’s slave trade, which played a pivotal role during the peak years of the nation’s interstate slave trade. In fact, Solomon Northup, author of 12 Years a Slave, was held here in 1841 at the notorious Goodwin’s slave jail before he was transported in chains to New Orleans. Much of Shockoe Bottom has since been razed and paved over, nearly forgotten by mainstream historians. Nevertheless, for many descendants of the enslaved, Shockoe Bottom remains sacred ground associated with suffering, injustice, and resistance to slavery. Today, Shockoe Bottom is an urban archaeological site imminently threatened by “Revitalize RVA,” the controversial plan to construct a minor league baseball stadium, a Hyatt hotel, a Kroger grocery store, and residential and commercial office space at the site. The ill-considered stadium project, which is heavily promoted by the mayor of Richmond, members of the City Council, and influential real estate developers, threatens to destroy the remarkable archaeological remains which survive below the asphalt. www.savingplaces.org/treasures/shockoe-bottom#.U6qzUo3D_cs.
Shockoe Bottom: Sacred Space or Economic Opportunity Video - by Dawn Smith
This video tells the story of the struggle of the Richmond, VA community to stop a baseball stadium from being built
on the bones of our African Ancestors. Shockoe Bottom was the location of the
largest slave trade operation in the U.S. in the 1800's. The video features interviews with key
players in the struggle: Marty Jewell, former city councilman, Phil Wilyato and Anna Edwards,
creators of the Sacred Ground Reclamation Project, Monica Esperanza, head of the African Ancestral
Chamber and others.
Video is now available for $20.00. Running time is 44 minutes.
Checks and money orders can be sent to Dawn Smith, P.O. Box 25095, Richmond, VA 23260. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ana Edwards – Chair, Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project, whose ancestors include two women sold from Richmond in the 1840s.
Elizabeth Cann Kambourian – Richmond Historian who rediscovered the existence of the African Burial Ground and has identified nearly 100 sites related to the Shockoe Bottom slave trade. John Mitchell – Grandson of John Mitchell Jr., the “Fighting Editor” of the Richmond Planet newspaper.
Vera J. Williams – Descendant of Solomon Northup, author of “Twelve Years a Slave”; Founder and President, Solomon Northup Foundation.
The 18-page proposal for a Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park, with contrast drawings, can be found at Sacred Ground Project. Founded in 2002, the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality is an all-volunteer organization of Virginia residents working for the survival of our communities through education and social justice projects. The Defenders have played leading roles in successful community struggles to reclaim Richmond's African Burial Ground from its use as a state-owned parking lot and to stop a proposal by Mayor Dwight Jones and local developers to build a commercial baseball stadium in the heart of Shockoe Bottom.
Descendants of Solomon Northup oppose development of
April 3, 2014 in Richmond, VA Descendant, Linsey Williams hosts Liberation Day; also in attendance was descendant Justin Gilliam and daughter Azalea. At the event Linsey read Solomon Northup's experience at the Goodwin slave jail, the site for the proposed minor league baseball stadium, from the book, "Twelve Years a Slave".
For more information; http://shockoebottom.blogspot.com/2014/03/solomon-northup-descendant-linsey.html