Charlottesville community members asking city to help build a slavery museum

Charlottesville community members asking city to help build a slavery museum
0 Park Street (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Churches and community leaders are asking Charlottesville City Council and the Historic Resources Committee to help them build a slavery museum at a historic location.

Keeping history at the forefront of everyone’s mind is the goal of a proposal to build the Court Square Enslavement Museum, where enslaved people were once sold at Zero Park Street in Charlottesville.

“It will show a degree of solidarity in Charlottesville that matches and really exceeds that of some other cities,” Marvin Morgan, interim pastor at Sojourners United Church of Christ, said.

Morgan is one of 100 petitioners to sign the proposal.

“Being able to provide a slavery museum at this particular Zero Court Square address provides an opportunity for young people to learn not as one person has said the myths about the community, but the facts about the community,” Morgan said.

The proposal states, “During the past three months we believe that peaceful rallies, community and church group meetings and statements and the process of removing emblems of civil war that are offensive to the spirit of Charlottesville underscore the importance of such a unique educational facility.”

Members of the community are asking the city to recognize the need to reconcile the past by remembering.

“I hope the city will reach deeply into its own possible resources at its negotiating skills to make an arrangement with the current owner, so that it’s not a financial burden doing this project,” Morgan said.

NBC29 reached out to city officials, but were told no comment because the City Manager’s Office has not fully reviewed the proposal.

“We believe that if we keep the history at the forefront of the minds of our young people, our students, then they will be less inclined to repeat that history,” Morgan said.

According to the proposal, the owner of the Zero Park Street building knows about the significance of this structure and is working with the proper authorities to recognize its history in the appropriate way.

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