TOP COMMENTARY OF THE WEEK
Once a dead end, a Richmond cemetery earns new respect
On Jan. 20, the federal government reopened historic review of the 123-mile Washington, DC to Richmond (DC2RVA) segment of the proposed Southeast High-Speed Rail project, which when complete will increase intercity passenger rail travel throughout the southeast region. Initially, the railway was planned to be built through one of the largest cemeteries for enslaved people in America, the Shockoe Hill African Burying Ground. Plans, apparently, have changed.
It’s been nearly four years since I wrote about the cemetery, then known as Richmond’s Grave Yard for Free People of Color and Slaves, a formerly unrecognized resting place of over 20,000 Black people in the belly of what was once the nation’s second-largest slave trading epicenter. Some things have changed; many things haven’t.