NBC12 VIEWPOINT: Baseball and Slavery in the Bottom

By: Kym Grinnage email

Last week, I expressed my opinion as a businessman and a self admitted casual fan of baseball, that a new baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom would attract new fans and increase tourism.

This week, I wanted to address the opposition that many have about the stadium being built on what many believe to be ancestral African slave burial grounds near the infamous Lumpkin Jail. I have actually attended recognition and memorial services on the site of Lumpkin's Jail. It's a very important location and a sacred place that should be remembered forever as a reminder of man's inhumanity to man. How many of you have been to the site of one of America's most important historical locations? My guess would be that less than 1% of those living in Richmond or the state of Virginia, let alone the country, have been to this historic location.

I truly believe that history is relevant when people know and can live it. I believe that a stadium and a museum to recognize and memorialize those brave Africans would give an opportunity for thousands of Virginians and Americans to learn more about this rich historical site. I believe that those who want to make sure that this site is forever remembered and never forgotten, should seize the moment to have a voice in what happens in the Bottom.

My 23-year history of living in Richmond has proven to me that if you want to solve a problem, you must be a part of the cooperative solution.

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