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On This Day: Uncovered slave burial ground remembered in Richmond

African American woman being auctioned off in front of crowd of men in Richmond, Virginia -...
African American woman being auctioned off in front of crowd of men in Richmond, Virginia - published in 1865.(Library of Congress)
Published: Jul. 11, 2019 at 4:11 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 11, 2021 at 1:56 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Slavery played a massive role in how the city of Richmond grew leading up to the Civil War. In fact, by the 1840′s, the domestic slave trade was Virginia’s largest industry - with Richmond at the center of it.

Think about that for a second: The commonwealth’s largest industry wasn’t tobacco. It was the sale of people - of Virginians.

These sales in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom were some of the most disgusting examples of human behavior in recorded history. The business was absolutely brutal, and the history continues to be uncovered, more than 100 years later - in some cases, quite literally.

Just 10 years ago, the city of Richmond finally removed asphalt that was covering a former slave burial ground.

We brought the activists who fought to uncover it back to the site for the very first time.

In Episode 6 of our podcast “How We Got Here,” we look back at that important day and dive deep into the history of slavery in Virginia:

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