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UVA Students, Others Spend Night in Slave Sites as Part of 'Slave Dwelling Experience'

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at UVA where people take part in sleeping outside and at slave sites. at UVA where people take part in sleeping outside and at slave sites.
slave site at UVA slave site at UVA
Joseph McGill Joseph McGill
Tammy Gibson Tammy Gibson
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The University of Virginia is shining a light on slavery through a unique experience.

Wednesday night, students and others spent their night sleeping outside as part of "The Slave Dwelling Project Experience on Grounds." Some slept inside the McGuffey Cottage and the Gardens next to it, a place that once housed slaves.

"We come and we lay our head there ... if its pitching a tent, or if there's a structure we'll sleep there. But it's just a night out, it's a sleep over. But the conversation before the fact that's where the power lies,"Joseph McGill, the project's founder, said.

McGill says it's important to bring light to this part of history.

“We have for so long forgotten it, and deliberately forgotten it because it's a part of our history that we would much rather forget, a part of our history that takes us out of our comfort zone. It’s a part of our history that does not line up with a happy ending," McGill said.

"It's to lay there and think about the conditions that they were kept in. Sometimes for me it's very emotional, just thinking about how the ancestors endured their whole life being enslaved," Tammy Gibson, historian and member of Slave Dwelling Project, said.

People will be camping out all night until 7 a.m. Thursday. Later this week people will be spending the night at Montpelier.

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