Monday, April 1, 2013


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 Main 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 Main 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 calls 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.



Commemorating 150 year anniversary of the Civil War in Virginia. Presented by The Future of Richmond’s Past, this day-long, mult-site, series of events takes place on Saturday April 6, 2013.

DefendersLIVE Guests participating in the day's events: 
LOIS LEVEEN, author of the 2012 historical novel, The Secrets of Mary BowserASHBY ANDERSON - March 4, 2013SHAWN O. UTSEY - July 28, 2008 (obviously overdue for a follow-up interview on Peep This Richmond and Peep This Segou)
Full schedule for the Lumpkin's Jail / Main Street Station site:
  • From 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., a guided tour of the Richmond Slave Trail, led by Rev. Ben Campbell, will be offered. The tour begins at Main Street Station (Franklin St. entrance, nearest 15th St.), please ride the shuttle bus to Ancarrow's Landing. This 1.5-mile walk will conclude at Lumpkin's Jail near Main Street Station. Registration requested
  • 10:30 a.m., Ana Edwards will lead a walking tour of the African Burial Ground, including the Gabriel's Rebellion Historic Marker. The tour will begin at the Lumpkin's site. 
  • 12:30 p.m. - The Umoja Gospel Choir of the University of Richmond will perform. 
  • 1:00 p.m. - Dr. Matthew Laird of the James River Archaeology Institute will conduct a presentation about the Lumpkin's site excavation and its findings. 
  • 1:30 p.m. - The Ngoma Dance Company of the University of Richmond will perform. 
  • 1:30 p.m. - Park Ranger Mike Gorman will lead the Lincoln Walking Tour, following the 14th President's footsteps from the 2nd Floor of the Main Street Station to the White House of the Confederacy. This tour will last approx. 1.5 hours. 
  • 2:00 p.m. - "The Secrets of Mary Bowser" author, Lois Leveen, will offer remarks about her novel depicting the life of a Unionist spy behind Confederate lines. 
  • 2:30 p.m. - Randolph Harmon of the Ancestral African Chamber will present the Spoken Word. 
  • 3:00 p.m. - J. Ron Fleming, portraying Henry "Box" Brown, was helped by Richmonders in freeing himself by shipping himself north. The presentation will be followed by a walking tour to the Henry “Box” Brown monument. 
  • 3:30 p.m. - Dr. Shawn O. Utsey, Professor of African American Studies and Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University 
  • 3:45 p.m. - The author of "Slaves Waiting For Sale," Dr. Maurie D. McInnis will offer remarks about the auction houses throughout Richmond. 
  • 4:00 p.m. - The Afrikan Arkestra, directed by Ashby Anderson, will perform selected work from "The Historic Richmond Jazz Suite." 

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