Thanks to the efforts of three contractors, some souls can finally rest in peace. After a more-than-10-year fight to remove asphalt paving from an African burial ground in Richmond, Virginia, activists can now claim victory.
The owner of the land, Virginia Commonwealth University, had been using the land as a parking lot. Later this year, the land will change ownership from VCU to the city.
The contractors, who will donate most of their supplies and services, will remove four inches of asphalt and six inches of gravel and then install an irrigation system, nine inches of fill material and an inch of sod, writes the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The costs to the contractors for the donated services will be around $123,000.
The Richmond area is believed to be one of the nation’s oldest burial sites of slaves and freed slaves.
Separately, last month, a plot directly across from the VCU property was recognized as being part of a route on the Richmond slave trail by the Richmond Slave Trail Commission.