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Figure 27 May 26-28 Edition "Richmond Free Press" 'Sacred Ground Victory'

African Burial Ground I

Burial Ground I is located at or near the intersection of 15th and Broad Streets in downtown Richmond just north of East Broad Street between Interstate 95 and the CSX railroad tracks.

Through the combined efforts of community persons, efforts were focused between 2010 and 2011 which succeeded in rescuing on Burial Ground I from the desecration and humiliation of the site operating as a parking lot which was owned and operated by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

Former Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones flatly and defiantly refused a request to lobby VCU president Michael Rao to cease and desist using the Burial Ground as a parking lot. In 2011, former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell signed a bill authorizing the expenditure of $3.3 million to purchase the property from VCU. The property was subsequently deeded to the City of Richmond.

Three local Black contractors donated $123,000 of their services to remove the asphalt and gravel from the Burial Ground. The deed conveying the property to Richmond required the city to make improvements on the property within five (5) years, which is not been done to date and. the property remains today as it did in 2011.

Richmond has defaulted on its agreement to program and improve this plot of land. Today, an abandoned building that has historically been on the property has deteriorated which creates a huge eyesore on what is essentially a cow pasture rather than a Burial Ground. (See the photographs below).