On September 10 and 15, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones convened public meetings to present his concept for a small history museum atop the Lumpkin’s Jail site in Shockoe Bottom, a place so sinister it was called the “Devil’s Half-Acre.” While we appreciate the mayor’s effort to stir public discourse about how best to commemorate this important and difficult chapter in the history of our city and country, the mayor’s plan for Lumpkin’s Jail simply does not go far enough.
As expressed in a statement from our president, Stephanie K. Meeks,
“We join our partners in supporting an alternative plan that would create a memorial park and an interpretive center on nine acres of historically significant land in Shockoe Bottom. This innovative concept would better acknowledge Richmond’s unvarnished history, recognize the continuing modern day impacts of slavery, and promote interactive dialogue to move forward and embrace a just and peaceful world. In order to fully mark Shockoe Bottom’s past and convey its meaning for future generations, we urge the public to join us in calling on the mayor to do more to tell Shockoe’s story.”
With the UCI Road World Championship bike races just around the corner, we’ll need your help in sending a strong message to the mayor in support of saving Shockoe. Stay tuned!