Michael Paul Williams does a fine job of presenting what is easily the best plan I've heard for what to do with Shockoe Bottom in his column, "Richmond is appropriate place for slavery museum."
Richmond, which has stopped running and hiding from a fundamental facet of its history, is poised to give birth to a slavery museum that never should have been shopped elsewhere.
The Richmond Slave Trail Commission unveiled plans Monday for a slave heritage site in Shockoe Bottom that would include a slavery museum. It's hard not to examine what has been proposed by the commission, led by Del. Delores L. McQuinn, D-Richmond, and not sense that we're at the portal of something transformative.
Click here to read the column.At Richmond Magazine Jack Cooksey has a piece up on the Slave Trail:
Click here to read the entire article and see drawings of what the proposed museum could look like.
Richmond was the most active slave market after New Orleans, with some 300,000 African-Americans having passed through here. And among cities that exported slaves throughout the South, Richmond was the top market, according to historians,
On the Devil’s Half Acre, African-Americans were held captive, punished and “broken” before being sold off as property.
Archaeological excavation of the site last year uncovered the Lumpkin’s Jail foundation, a cobblestone courtyard where slaves were held and a kitchen, as well as artifacts from the period.
In April of this year I penned an opinion piece on this topic for Richmond.com.
We Richmonders need for historians and anthropologists to dig up the truth about the business of selling slaves that went on in Shockoe Bottom. We must get over the threadbare notion that leaving that part of the past buried or glossed over with false history is best. A state-of-the-art museum on the history of the international slave trade is the perfect project for those who want to put a unique tourist attraction in Shockoe Bottom. That's something that would bring people to Richmond from all over the world.Click here to read the entire piece.