Posts Tagged ‘Gabriel’

Please read this article and sign the petition about the parking of cars on Richmond’s African Burial Ground by VCU. This is a dramatic example of institutionalized white privilege and racism. Imagine the public outcry if VCU built a parking lot on Hollywood Cemetery. Parking on sacred ground is not acceptable, and it has only gone on for so long due to historical and current white supremacy and racism which infect most institutions and capitalist ventures. The Wingnut Anarchist Collective stands in solidarity with everyone fighting to end this disrespectful and oppressive treatment of a historical and spiritual site.

End VCU/MCV Parking on Richmond’s African Burial Ground

by: Kenneth Yates x370724

A place called Shockoe Bottom in Richmond, Virginia was once the center of the African slave trade in North America. However if you were to visit this area you would never know it. Beneath the night clubs, condominiums, office buildings, and streets lies a history grossly repressed by capitalist appetites for commercial development.

One hidden piece of history in particular lies beneath a parking lot publicly owned and utilized by the Virginia Commonwealth University & Medical College of Virginia staff and students.



Photo by: Kenneth Yates

 In 1992 local historian and author Elizabeth Cann Kambourian, while researching for a book about a local slave rebellion leader named Gabriel, discovered something. Around 1800, inspired by the Haitian Revolution which was in full swing at the time, Gabriel plotted one of the most organized slave revolts in United States history. The plan was for hundreds of enslaved Africans, free Blacks and a few whites to to enter the city of Richmond, take the governor hostage and demand the abolition of slavery in Virginia. The revolt, however, was crushed after an intense 100 year storm flooded the area, making it impossible for Gabriel and his army to enter the city.

With information given by one of Gabriel’s collaborators, the then Richmond Governor James Monroe formed a militia to hunt down Gabriel and his co-conspirators. Gabriel was eventually captured, tried and, on Oct. 10, 1800, executed at the town gallows, located in what was then called the Burial Ground for Negroes. At least 25 of his comrades met the same fate, either at the same site or in surrounding areas.

The burial ground was retired sometime around 1810, after hundreds, perhaps thousands of enslaved Africans had been buried there. The exact number is unknown. Before long the burial ground itself fell into obscurity, eventually buried beneath 10-20 feet of filler as the land took on many other uses over the years.

Kambourian discovered an old Richmond City map placing the African Burial Ground just north of 15th & Broad Street. That area is now partially covered by Interstate 95, with the remaining portion of the Burial Ground buried beneath a parking lot utilized by both VCU & MCV staff and students. The exact boundaries are yet to be determined.

The Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality have been fighting to reclaim this sacred ground from its present desecration. (more…)

October is a month with a lot of significance in regards to the issues of race, racism, white privilege, etc. This event (which has location TBA, so stay tuned) is just a part of the many events and commemorations happening in October. If you don’t know about who Gabriel was, or what the deal is with the burial ground that VCU has paved over, make it out to hear people talk about what is going on with these issues in Richmond.

Sunday, October 10 · 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Location To be confirmed

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It’s about time to come together and have a community discussion about the progress on reclamaing Richmond’s African Burial Ground. Following the success of the documentary, Meet Me In The Bottom: The Struggle to Reclaim Richmond’s African Burial Ground, more and more individuals and organizations are stepping forward to declare their support for this effort. Local, state, public and private interests have been meeting and makin…g plans for this site and others in Shockoe Bottom without a way to hear from the community. The Future of Richmond’s Past and the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War and the End of Slavery are creating unprecendented opportunities for public discourse on difficult topics. Who is telling what histories? To what purpose? Let’s come together and provide some feedback, some ideas for addressing the struggle for the Burial Ground and similar challenges facing Richmonders and Virginians every day. What would Gabriel do? SAVE THE DATE and plan to attend on October 10, 2010 at 6pm.See More

Here is a list of people killed by the state we are compiling in order to turn into a Memorial Mural at the Wingnut this Spring.
We will unveil the mural and have a ceremony and cookout on Memorial Day- May 31, 2010.
Please help us add to the list so we can include more people from a variety of communities.

Anyone who wants to help with the mural should contact us so we can start planning.
Anyone who wants to help gather wood, paint, etc. to make smaller individual memorials should get in touch too.
If anyone has an idea for a statement or prayer or something they would like to read at the ceremony please let us know.

Anyone in contact with the families of any of these individuals should let us know.

Also, we are looking for musicians for the day. So if you have any music that might be particularly appropriate, or just have fun acoustic music you think we might like let us know.

People Killed By The State
List in Progress

Fred Hampton
Oscar Grant (more…)