The Shockoe Alliance

Dear Friends,

On April 15, the first public meeting of the Shockoe Alliance was held at Main Street Station. The essential point of the evening, aside from bringing together most of the people who'd attended the Rose Center gathering in February of 2018, was to present the mission and vision of the Shockoe Alliance and it's core purpose for being: creation of a Shared Vision that results in a Shockoe Bottom Master Plan. The Sacred Ground Project is participating to ensure that a Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park is factored into that master plan.

Many of you are followers or members of RVA Archaeology and they put out word asking people to include archaeology in your responses because the city currently has no guidelines for archaeological investigations. The Community Proposal for a Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park also calls for doing archaeology first for any development projects in our oldest, most densely historical section of the city!

We also invite you to include equitable economic development in your responses. And it isn't limited to saying "a percentage of housing units must be affordable." Equitable development must benefit those who need it most and sustain everyone. 

All of the information that was presented on April 15, at the Shockoe Alliance first community meeting, is on-line here for your review and three surveys for you to complete. Please do so by May 6.
    o   Meeting Presentation [3.79 MB]
    o   Meeting Boards [62.18 MB]
    o   Experience Shockoe Survey
    o   Shockoe Priorities Survey
    o   EnVISION Shockoe Survey 
Please explore the link to a website that introduces the Shockoe Alliance and provides this email address for the Shockoe Alliance: shockoealliance@gmail.com.

Please complete these surveys by May 6. 

Visit sacredgroundproject.net for more on the Shockoe Alliance, our Shockoe Bottom Economic Impact & Benefit Study, and other updates.

Thank you!


Second African Burial Ground

The Second African Burial Ground lies under the lot seen here above the 4-lanes of Fifth Street. Hospital Street crosses Fifth just to the right of this image. I-64 can be seen just beyond. Talley's Auto Service building and a billboard leased from Lamarr Signs sit on top of the site labelled “Grave Yard for Free People of Color” and “For Slaves” on an 1835 map of the city of Richmond.

Another significant site beginning to get attention, at long last is Richmond's Second African Burial Ground at 5th & Hospital streets. It was established after the African Burial Ground in Shockoe Bottom was closed in 1816. Advocates for its recognition and memorialization have emerged and are working together.

There are some exciting developments underway that emphasize the relationship not only between the first and second African burial grounds, but also between the second African burial ground and the Medical College of Virginia's East Marshall Street Well Project, and the search for living descendants of those buried in these sites. This public history research is knitting together a geography of cemetery histories with other aspects of life for African Americans in Richmond from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that have existed too long in the shadows and disconnected from one another.

Please read this article by Ryan Smith, VCU professor of history, and author of an upcoming book on Richmond cemeteries. This post presents an excellent, concise history of the site: