Make your own free website on

The DEFENDERS for Freedom, Justice & Equality

Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project

About the Defenders
Public Forums
The Richmond Defender
Sacred Ground
Jail & Prison Project
Court Watch Project
Lead Poisoning
Women's Issues
Worker Justice
Virginia Anti-War Network
Anti-War Activities
Press Releases
Get Involved!
Other Information
What are the goals of the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project?
To prevent a baseball stadium from being constructed in the center of the Shockoe Bottom historic district -- To preserve the site of Richmond's slave trading, economy-building history -- To reclaim and commemorate the "Negro Burial Ground" at 15th & E. Broad streets -- To tap into the living memory of the descendents of our history and add another layer to the whole history of Richmond and Virginia -- To examine the evolution of the founding principles of this country as applied to its "immigrant" populations -- To recall and promote the acts of those, like Gabriel, who have struggled and continue to struggle for freedom, justice and equality in this land.  These are the tasks of the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project.  Lend us your talents, your time and your determination and help strengthen your community.  Contact Ana Edwards at to learn more about the The Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project. 


SLAMFEST & symposium FLIER

"The 300-year struggle for the African Burial Ground, from a strictly scientific standpoint, constitutes a continuing assertion of human identity against those who would belittle or belie that status for reasons of economic expediency." - Dr. Michael L. Blakey, from The New York African Burial Ground Project: An Examination of Enslaved Lives, a Construction of Ancestral Ties, presented August 19, 1997 to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Sub-Committee on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.
If They Build It - We Won't Come!
We declare our total opposition to the construction of a sports stadium in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom.
This was once the site of one of the largest slave-trading areas in the United States. It was here that, in the decades before the end of the Civil War, thousands of enslaved Africans were sold into lives of brutal exploitation. This is Sacred Ground that must not be further desecrated for commercial profit.
Instead, we call for the proper reclaiming and memorializing of this site. There should be a museum that tells the history of Virginia’s key role in the slave trade. There should be a genealogy center where descendants of enslaved Africans can research family histories. This should be a place of reverence, of learning, of education and reflection.
Further, this project — to be paid for by the corporations, institutions, families and individuals whose present-day fortunes can be traced to the exploitation of slave labor — should be developed in a way that directly benefits the Black community today. This means job training for good jobs with decent wages, academic credits for participation in ongoing educational projects and tax revenue set-asides for community development and university scholarships.
If such a center were to be developed, it would quickly become a destination for people of African descent and others from all over the world. In addition to being a proud and noble achievement, it could be an economic engine for the entire Greater Richmond area.
But if the decision is made to build a baseball stadium and residential “Market Village” on the site of this former slave market, we pledge to call for an economic boycott of Richmond during the quadcentennial year of 2007.
No Stadium in Shockoe Bottom!
Reclaim this Sacred Ground!
To endorse this statement, please print this page and provide your name, organizational affiliation (if appropriate), address, phone and/or e-mail address, and indicate if your endorsement is yours as an individual or as a representative of your organization.  Then fax or mail it to The Defenders using the fax number or address provided below.   If you send it by e-mail be sure to copy and paste the entire statement into the message and then provide the information indicated above. 
Thank you -- if we don't protect our history who do we think will do it for us?
The Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project 
of the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality
PO Box 23202, Richmond, VA 23223   --   Phone/Fax: (804) 644-5834
E-mail:   --   Web:
 Tell Richmond's officials you don't want a
 commercial baseball stadium built on the site of
Richmond's former slave market!


Mayor of Richmond
Doug Wilder
Office: (804) 646-7970

1st District
Vice Mayor G. Manoli Loupassi
Office: (804) 440-6222
Fax: (804) 440-6921

8th District
A. Vice Mayor Jacqueline M. Jackson
Office: (804) 646-5009 Voice Mail
Fax: (804) 646-7736

2nd District
William J. Pantele
Office: (804) 646-5460
Fax: (804) 646-7736

3rd District
Chris A. Hilbert
Office: (804) 646-5400

4th District
Kathy C. Graziano
Office: (804) 646-5349

5th District
E. Martin Jewell
Office: (804) 646-6050

6th District
Ellen F. Robertson
Phone: (804) 646-5348

7th District
Delores L. Mcquinn
Office: (804) 646-4599
Voice Mail: (804) 646-5429

9th District
Eugene A. Mason Jr.
Office: (804) 646-5497


Thank you for joining us at the the 3rd annual commemoration of Gabriel's Rebellion and Richmond's African Burial Ground:
VOICES OF RESISTANCE AND RECLAMATION Spoken Word Slam & Music Fest, October 8, 2005 - 8:00 pm to Midnight @ Tropical Soul in Jackson Ward - FEATURING THE ON-TARGET TALENTS OF Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble (Raleigh, NC) and Bread is Rising Poetry Collective (New York, NY) and 4 local spoken word artists.

SITES OF SIGNIFICANCE / STORIES OF RESISTANCE AND RECLAMATION Symposium, October 9, 2005 - 3:30 to 6:30 pm @ Centenary United Methodist Church, 4th & E. Grace Sts.  5:30 pm Reception. Presenters included contributors from the College of William & Mary (Williamsburg Va.), the Smithsonian Institution (Washington DC), the Natiodnal Trust for Historic Preservation (Washington DC), Center for African & African American Research (Fredericksburg Va.) and the Sacred Ground Project (Richmond Va.).


10/10/04 Program: Seminar on Slavery & Marker Unveiling

The Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project
Contact Ana Edwards at to learn more about the The Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project. 

Say to them,
say to the down-keepers,
the sun-slappers,
the self-soilers,
the harmony-hushers,
"even if you are not ready for day
it cannot always be night."
You will be right.
For that is the hard home-run.

Live not for battles won.
Live not for the-end-of-the-song.
Live in the along.

"Speech to the Young: Speech to the Progress-Toward" by Gwendolyn Brooks