Foundation for National Slave History Museum in Richmond Prepares to Hire Director to Launch Project | Richmond Local News

More than a century after the Civil War, the area around it is surrounded by surface parking lots and a handful of apartments and restaurants in old warehouses that rise above what had once been one of the largest concentrations of slave prisons and detention centers. just behind New Orleans.

The foundation of the prison complex was discovered in a 2008 archaeological survey, about a decade after the city formed the Richmond Slave Trail Commission to preserve this history.

Ben Campbell, pastor and member of the now-defunct Slave Trail Commission with McQuinn, says the scale of a large museum is needed to convey the importance of Shockoe Bottom’s slave legacy. The slave heritage museum and campus, he said, need not be mutually exclusive.

“I think it’s short-sighted and unfortunate,” Campbell, who is white, said of criticism of the museum’s plans. “I think… what we’re really talking about is a matter of scale and whether we want something that is a significant national and international tourist attraction that can tell the story of both the slavery and liberation. “

McQuinn, who is black and a long-time advocate for a museum at the site, said the museum should be the “centerpiece” of the heritage campus, and that the programming wouldn’t just be about Lumpkin Prison or how it is. later became a seminary which was the forerunner of Virginia Union University.

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