Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Richmond is now at a crossroads:

Does it offer up its most historic neighborhood to profit-hungry developers only interested in making a quick buck, or do we develop it as a national historic district that tells all its many stories – American Indian, the founding of the city of Richmond, Quaker, Mason, Jewish and, most importantly, the fact that it was from here that hundreds of thousands of Africans and people of African descent were sold here into lives of slavery?

Such a historic district can only be developed as a result of a real community conversation, primarily within the Black community. Some suggestions so far are to lncude parkland, a museum, genealogy center, bookstore, performing arts space, educational conference center and more that would draw millions from across the country and around the world. For those only interested in the money, it would generate far more revenue for the city, its hotels, motels, restaurants and other attractions than a minor-league ballpark that only draws crowds from the surrounding counties – crowds that after the ballgames get right back on the highway and go home. And it doesn't require the city taking on a $100 million public debt that could leave us headed to bankruptcy if the economy falls into another recession.

We are NOT against development. In fact, opponents have developed an alternative plan, one that would bring in much-needed revenue for the City and allow development on the Boulevard and non-sacred areas of Shockoe Bottom while properly memorializing the area where hundreds of thousands of people of African descent suffered, resisted and as a people survived one of the worst atrocities in human history. See an "Alternative Vision for Shockoe Bottom" at


'NO to a Shockoe Stadium - YES to a Historic District!' 


David Milller said...

This is really interesting take on the concept. I never thought of it that way. I came across this site recently which I think it will be a great use of new ideas and information. Thank you for sharing it with us.
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Seeker said...

Wait a second, wait a second - why don't we demolish all of Richmond? Hell - why don't we demolish every single city in the entire United States and move back to Europe and elsewhere - where most of us came from?

Do we not forget that the African atrocity was far less atrocious than the destruction of the NATIVE AMERICAN PEOPLES??

E. A. Rosewood said...

Far LESS? I would NEVER compare atrocities like that. Shame on you. Equally atrocious is the marginalization of Native American Indian contemporary peoples. But this kind of exaggerated auto-response is distracting and unproductive. Part of the point of this struggle is to make people stop and pay attention and be thoughtful. Richmond can do better than the current proposal.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm posting in a danger zone, and that I'm at risk of having tons of self-proclaimed historians scream at me, but here goes:

Development needs to happen. It just needs to. I won't lie, I respect our history, and I believe it should be properly memorialized. In 2008, Fultz Architects and Highwoods Properties put up proposals around the same time for a National Slavery Museum and more importantly, "Shockoe Center". However, not only the economy, but you all, brought it down with the history talk. Fultz Architects' museum proposal would have been placed right by the renovated Main Street Station on the African Burial Ground, but you all shot it down.

Please take a look at it, I would have thought it was a good proposal, Fultz Architects' National Slavery Museum:

Anonymous said...

There is no better way to honor the sufferings of slavery , than with a great museum right next to a great ballpark. Do you think we honor them now with nothing there ?