Wilder Slave-Museum Proposal Sparks Surprises - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

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  • Where in Shockoe Bottom would you like to see a national slavery museum built?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    First African Baptist Church (Former Gov. Wilder's plan)
    29%
    19 votes
    Lumpkins Jail (Mayor Jones' plan)
    27%
    18 votes
    I do not want a slavery museum in Shockoe Bottom.
    44%
    29 votes

Wilder Slave-Museum Proposal Sparks Surprises

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Former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder's proposal for a slave museum in a historic Richmond church has surprised the owners of the former sanctuary. Former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder's proposal for a slave museum in a historic Richmond church has surprised the owners of the former sanctuary.
Wilder announced Thursday he was eyeing the slavery museum for the former First African Baptist Church, which is owned by Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Medical Center. Wilder announced Thursday he was eyeing the slavery museum for the former First African Baptist Church, which is owned by Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Medical Center.
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - Former Governor Doug Wilder announced new plans for a national slavery museum in Richmond - but the owners of the place he's looking at say it's the first they've heard of the plan.

Wilder is hoping the museum will be located at the former home of the First African Baptist Church on 14th and Broad Streets.

Wilder says that the building, which is currently a part of Richmond's Slave Trail, is a completely appropriate place to have a national slavery museum.

"With the nation a mere five years away from the observation and commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the first African Americans being brought to North America for servitude in 1619, we have no time to waste," he says.

Wilder has been working on the museum for years, originally proposing the museum be built in Fredericksburg but the museum filed for bankruptcy as its debt grew and donations dried up.

The First African Baptist Church is currently owned by VCU.

But a VCU spokesman said they had not anticipated Wilder's announcement and that "no formal or informal discussions or negotiations" are underway.

The mayor's office sent this statement saying in part, "there have been no formal or informal discussions with Governor Wilder about his current efforts."

Wilder says he expects the museum to find a home here.

"It isn't about me. It is about a forgotten history that America can ill afford to forget."

The museum is still far from reality. Wilder has to negotiate for the building and he still has to try and secure funding from state lawmakers and the governor.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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