RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond’s Elegba Folklore Society held a torchlight on Saturday along a route that tracks the slave trade as it existed in the city before the Civil War – offering attendees a chance to reflect on Richmond’s complicated history.
The walk began at the Manchester Docks, the place where enslaved Africans disembarked from slave ships and were forced to march to slave jails like Lumpkin’s Jail in Shockoe Bottom.
“Chained at the neck and legs, they were marched at night to avoid offending citizens with their oozing sores, filth and stench from the slave ships,” a historical marker at the site reads.
The trail continues through a number of historical sites in Richmond, including the reconciliation statue on Main Street and the First African Baptist Church, which served as a “center of African-American life in pre-Civil War Richmond.”
“I’m so happy today to see children here along with their parents and elders,” said Elegba President Jamie Bell. “We make changes by our choices so the choice to be here is a footstep towards change.”
The Elegba Folklore Society will also host a Juneteenth celebration at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at the African Burial Ground, 1540 East Broad St.