Wilder Presses for Slavery Museum

Published March 16, 2009

Richmond, Va., Mayor L. Douglas Wilder, himself the grandson of former slaves, is pushing harder than ever to see a national slavery museum erected in the Virginia town of Fredericksburg.

Despite financial obstacles, Wilder, who in 1989 was the first African American elected governor, has acknowledged the fundraising difficulties that the U.S. National Slavery Museum is having, but rejected the notion that the facility might be put in Shockoe Bottom, where remains of a slave jail recently were unearthed.

Organizers must re-register by this Friday before it can legally seek donations in Virginia, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The nonprofit museum has continued to solicit contributions on its Web site even though its registration expired Aug. 15, the newspaper reports. The museum must pay a new $100 filing fee to comply with the Virginia Solicitation of Contributions Law. It must also file an annual fee ranging from $30 to $325 based on the previous year's revenue, Marion Horsley, a spokeswoman for the Office of Consumer Affairs of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, told the Times-Dispatch.

Compounding the museum’s money woes is a $24,093 real estate tax bill that was due Nov. 15 for its 38-acre property on the Rappahannock River, the Times-Dispatch reports. Over the past eight years, little has happened to move the project forward, other than the land having been cleared, according to the report.

Written by BET.com Staff

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