Former Governor Douglas Wilder is hoping to breathe new life into an old project - a national slavery museum in the heart of downtown Richmond. Wilder has been trying to move forward on this project for more than a decade. Now he says it's time to really get things going but there are still some hurdles.
Wilder says he is in early discussions to locate the museum in downtown Richmond, the center of a once booming slave trade, inside a building owned by Virginia Commonwealth University. VCU quickly denied any negotiations are underway. Wilder has also not spoken with Richmond leaders about the proposal, despite the city's plan to construct its own slavery heritage site.
Despite that, Wilder says, after years of financial setbacks, he wants to get things done. “I want to be a part of the neglected vision that no longer needs to be neglected. It isn't about me; it is about a forgotten history that American can ill afford to forget,” he stated.
Former Governor McDonnell proposed $11 million to help fund a slavery museum and heritage site in Richmond. Those funds are currently tied up in the still unfinished state budget.
It remains to be seen if, after years of discussions and little action, things can finally get off the ground.
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