June 14, 2022
State marker unveiled at Shockoe Hill African Burying Ground
The remains of more than 20,000 Black Americans are buried on the site.
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On Sunday, a group of scholars, community members and officials celebrated the unveiling of a state historical marker at the Shockoe Hill African Burying Ground. The marker is posted at the site, at the corner of North Fifth and Hospital streets in Richmond, where the remains of more than 20,000 Black Americans are interred.
“With 22,000 free and enslaved burials over 30 acres, this was one of, if not the, largest burial ground for the enslaved in the nation,” Ryan Smith, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of History in the College of Humanities and Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University, said in a VCU News interview in March.
Over the past several years, Smith has worked as part of a team seeking state and federal historic recognition of the Richmond site. In March, the state review board and the board of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources voted unanimously to list the site, as part of a larger burying ground district, on the Virginia Landmarks Register.
The site is under review by the National Park Service for potential inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
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