Out of Richmond today came a stirring editorial from the Richmond Times-Dispatch that urges the City of Richmond to think bigger and bolder in its commemoration of slave history at Shockoe Bottom. This statement comes as the City presents tonight the results of “Richmond Speaks,” the name the Mayor has given to the public vetting of a City concept for a small museum on the Lumpkin’s Jail site.
After reviewing the “Richmond Speaks” report released by the City yesterday, today’s editorial concludes “Richmonders seem generally agreed on the need to memorialize the city’s role in the slave trade and the many victims of that trade who were passed through here in bondage. Now a growing consensus is emerging that the city must not short-change such an effort.”
The editors go on to argue that, “Turning Lumpkin’s Jail into a museum is a crucial first step, but it is far from sufficient. The slave trade was not confined to Lumpkin’s; the entire Shockoe Bottom area is hallowed with the blood and tears of slavery’s victims.” The full editorial may be read here.
We wholeheartedly agree, and have been staunch and vocal supporters of a more comprehensive and thoughtful plan to preserve the full nine acres of Shockoe Bottom.
So help us seize this critical moment for Shockoe Bottom’s future! If you are local to RVA, please attend the public meeting tonight at the University of Richmond from 6-8 pm. More information can be found here. If you’re not, stay up to date on developments using the Twitter hashtag #SaveShockoe and stay tuned for a call to action to send the message to city leaders that Shockoe Bottom deserves more.