From the African Ancestral Chamber and the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 1, 2013
Richmond groups to mark ‘Richmond Liberation Day’
by opposing plan for a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom
The African Ancestral Chamber and the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality will hold a press conference and vigil at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3rd, at the corner of Crane and East Broad streets in Shockoe Bottom. The purpose of the events is to commemorate Richmond Liberation Day, and bring attention to unfavorable developments such as a sports stadium within the historic district where captive Africans were sold.
April 3rd will be the 148th anniversary of the day that African American soldiers led Union troops into Richmond, liberating its people from Confederate rule, freeing enslaved Africans from the notorious Lumpkin’s Jail and ending slavery in the city, where it had existed for more than 300 years. The day was annually celebrated by Richmond’s African American community until the beginning of the Jim Crow era.
The corner of Crane and East Broad streets is next to the Exxon gas station, which stands on the site of what once was Omohundro’s Jail, a holding structure for enslaved Africans similar to Lumpkin’s. Plans by various groups in the City call for placing a stadium at this site.
Following the vigil, participants will visit Richmond’s African Burial Ground to show their respect for the ancestors buried there.