tv Preservation of African- American Historical Sites CSPAN November 1, 2016 9:45pm-12:19am EDT
>> it's a complicated issue and i had to research to get base knowledge of what i wanted to talk about in this piece and it's so complicated that i can't talk about it all in 5 to 7 minutes. >> it's a really broad topic and i thought it would be nice to have a vocal point that i wanted to focus on so before i started interviewing my parents and before i started shooting i researched this topic extensively. visited my dad's pharmacy and talked to the pharmacist there. i talked to my mom and her colleagues and co-workers and of course internet research and went to the library. >> a lot of internet research to find more like facts and data and statistics about employment of those with developmental
disabilities and to see really what was going on. most of the information that i got founded websites and that's how i muy the information was legitimate. >> your message to washington defendant c. what is the most urgent issue for the new president and congress to address in 2017. our competition is open to all middle school or high school students grades 6 through 12 with $100,000 awarded in cash prizes. students can work alone or in a group of up to 3. and will be awarded and shared between 150 students and 53 teachers and will go to the student or team with the best overall injury. this year's deadline is january
20th, 2017. so mark your calendars and help us spread the word with student film makers. let's go to our website student cam.org. >> thousand more from the association for the study of african american life and history with the panel about the preservation of african american historical sites. it includes former national park's service director robert stanton and the national museum of african american history. this is 2.5 hours. >> it's my pleasure to welcome you today. obscured spaces community partnerships and preservations of african american history sites and the national park services second century.
it's an honor to be here with participants. especially mr. stanton and plflt franklin. i would like to take this opportunity to underscore our enthusiasm for the park services partnership with the association for the study of african american life and history. the park service needs this collaboration as we recommit to more new answered explorations of american stories and to sharing those stories with a wide audience in innovative ways. i hope that you already know or will discover that the national park service is a good partner. our civil rights thish tif begun this year offers opportunities for collaboration and, in fact, the park service plans to create tuns for scholars to help park interpreters research african american civil rights stories associated with parks.
and researchers that know primary resources and skills that can help us do our jobs better. earlier this year the national park service funded $5.5 million worth of projects through the civil rights initiative. and share briefly with you a hand full of those projects so our colleagues in the park services midwest region planned a study that poses a big question. how did race structure african americans access to outdoor recreation and leisure resources since the end of the civil war through the present. the history of outdoor recreation related to the creation of an african mesh middle class. african american relationship with nature and the evolution of african american environmental
thought. the southeast region will be taking a closer look of the historical significance of dr. martin luther king and crow era. with stories and to connect them with those stories and also stories without the resistance that brought about the deseg grags of county schools. one of its research projects, northeast region will explore the region of reconstruction in
the north ooex and ultimately the park will use that research to draw interpretative connections between park resources, reconstruction error themes and issues relative to contemporary society. issues such as the preva zif. identifying reconstruction sites and themes and this study to kus primarily on the occupied sale. in another study the northeast region turns a light on park service history by documenting racial segregation and units of the national park system in virginia during the jim crow and modern civil rights eras. according to the je og geograph. they're in the northeastern
region. practice by some mps units established in virginia. what strategies did african-americans devise to gain equal access to recreational resources in the years following official desegregation. the national capital region is examining the history of national park service and public policy. in 1967, the year before washington erupted in protest and violence after the as assassination of dr. king, the agency had sponsored a summer in the parks program providing activities for city residence, following the d.c. riots, as they were called, the mayor credited the summer in the parks program with preventing trouble in washington for becoming worse than it was and it was pretty bad. and he also publicly praised the park service and thanked them for saving the city. so how did that program work and
what were its legacies. so these are just a few of the projects that will help national park service be better stewards and interpreters of the places we preserve and protect. while you're at the meeting, you can find out more about the national park service sites and programs that preserve stories of african-american life and history by mps exhibit in the exhibit hall and there you'll find posters that are highlighting community out reach at jefferson national expansion memorial in st. louis, lincoln home national historic site in illinois and youth programs, including an urban archeology core held right here in richmond, the last two summers with zbraet success. before i introduce the moderator, i would like to share an experience that speaks to the theme of this panel. last saturday i was in a
hallowed place and obscured space on the back street in sharpsburg maryland. i attended the 150th anniversary celebration of tul sans chapel, located a breath away from the battlefield and mr. stanton, i believe you have stood in this pulpit. in 1866 three people designed financed and built the chapel. they later stone foundation. they filled trees and huge logs to make the walls of this sacred space. from 1868 through 1877 the church served as a bureau school and even after the school ended, the chapel remained a place of worship until 1998. the building and its cemetery have been preserved by the friends of the chapel who recognize its importance. the park services also recognize
its importance by listing it on the national register of historic places and some day it might be on the national historic landmark registry, too. in its opening remarks, my colleague dean invoked the spirits of the first 18th students to enroll there. the remnants of two black wards that had been uncovered during restoration enhanced that invocation. can you feel those children, dean asked. we could. you could manage them practicing arithmetic and writing their abcs on the board in front of the room. as dean said, here was where miepds were emancipated where souls were uplifted, where freedom was made real. where hope was created. that hallowed obscure place matters. so without further adieu, we'll get to the panel and it's my pleasure to introduce the panel
moderator mr. ellen spears, culture resources director of the national park conservation association. since joining ncpa in 1999 he has worked for its enhancing cultural diversity program and managed its national parks community partners program. this initiative connect the national parks in major cities to racially and ethnically diverse constituents and fostered a ground breaking youth employment program. after joining ncpa's affairs department, mr. spears was instrumental of gaining passage of the national under ground railroad network funding reauthorization act of 2008. more recently he was central to five successful national monument campaigns, including fort monroe, hair yet tub man, charles young. thank you. allen spears.
[ applause ] . >> good afternoon, everybody. and welcome to the 100 1st conference of the association for the study of african-american life in history. it's a pleasure to be here. i want to thank our hasla host, barbara in here. the number of people in the room. you're probably life members if you're sitting in this audience for the opening preliminary. i'm allen. we're going to take about 40 minutes to do our first panel and we'll bring up some experts from national park service and community park organizations that will talk to you a little bit more and we'll do our best to wrap up by 6:30 so you can get ready for the reception tonight. one housekeeping detail, if you have one of these, who doesn't these days, please place it on silent and vibrate. we will like to avoid bird
signals and calls in the middle of what is going to be a fantastic panel. i have the great opportunity, privilege of having this conversation with two colleagues mentors peers and friends. and i want to introduce you to, on my far left, john w. franklin who is the senior manager of the office of external affairs for the national museum of the african-american, the newly opened museum of african-american. [ applause ] and if it was possible to top that, we have bob stanton sitting next to him, former director of the national park service first african-american to serve in that role and someone who has been a champion for diversity and enhancing the african-american experience for his entire life. so welcome there. and i would be remiss if i didn't say quickly about the
national parks conservation association, we're not the federal government. we're not the federal park foundation, we're advocacy organization, i tend to dress like when i go to lobby on behalf of the park service and funding and working with people in communities to increase relevance diversity and inclusion, we'll talk about that today. this is 2016. it's is centennial for the national park service. how many people, by a show of hands, are aware of that. thank you for coming and everybody knows. so this is a well-informed group. i don't think we need to belabor that point too much. in the centennial year as we're thinking about how we've made so many strides to advance international parks, this president, president obama, has done a fantastic job and established a great legacy of designating new national parks,
colonel young, and how we really extend this movement to create a 21th century national park system for 21 century american. mr. tstanton you have seen this from the long view, so with your experience, talk to us about what your thoughts are on the centennial, how well is the park service doing. what do they need to do to keep going in the right direction? >> thank you very much. allen. i want to join you in applauding the leadership of allowing this session, this afternoon. ladies and gentlemen, we are honored to have in the audience the president, dr. evelyn, you're honored. thank you very much. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> i, too, want to salute npca
and the national park service for hosting and certainly an honor to be here with john w. franklin. and ask each of you to join me in applauding our colleagues at the smithsonian -- at the national smithsonian museum of african-american history to john and dr. lonnie and all your colleagues, we're in your debt. we're so grateful. i will attempt to be brief, to speak about an agency that i have known for half of a century and, once i get involved and talk about the national park service, i would ask each of you be prepared to have breakfast here tomorrow morning. seriously, i will try to be brief and to look at the audience and see so many
familiar faces and certainly my colleagues and the national park service and still refer to them as colleagues in the park service, although i've not been with the park service for the past 16 years. they're still a part of me and i'm a part of you, the finest men and women in the government. the men women of the national park service, it's good to be home with my colleagues. i think it will be appropriate, very briefly to reflect on the 1 hundredth anniversary of the national park service and national parks to mutually reflect on the journey from which we're traveling from august 25, 1916 and recognizing that we have scholars in the audience who traffic in facts. i want to disspell a rumor, no, i was not there when president wood ward wilson signed the organic act.
but i have been with the national park service for a long time, first entering the first national park that i ever experienced in the summer of 1962 and that was made possible through the courageous leadership of one of my all time favorite secretary, the honorable stewart lee. let me go back with the progression of the national park system and thechb make a couple of comments about where we are and where i think we might go and certainly dr. franklin, john w. have some very keen observation on this, as well. we talk about the hundredth anniversary, but a lot of you yellow stone in 1872, yes, yellow stone joined by 34 other parks were in existence of the national park established 100 years ago by congress signed into lu by president wood ward wilson. it's interesting to note that
the secretary of the interior had difficulty in protecting the parks and people illegally what have you. and had limited civilian personnel to assist so you prevail upon the secretary war that we are in now, i need some help. the secretary of war, say i will help you mr. secretary provide that congress gives me authorization to use my military force for domestic purpose. congress agreed and consequently the secretary of the interior had the benefit of the u.s. calgary. through history books had not reported when i was going to segregated that among those before there was a national park service were people of my beautiful color, the buffalo soldier, yosimity and other large parks. that story is being told now very vividly at those parks and certainly as allen mentioned, at the charles young buffalo soldier national mind in ohio.
so come is the -- yeah 1916 with the new agency, it muddle along and we're in world war ii and maybe a couple of parks we have and what have you, the second director of the national park service, visionary, the name all bright, prevailed on -- on president frank lynn eleanor roosevelt, maybe you look at the reorganization and in doing so look at the various historic sites under the department of war. under the department of agriculture, under the white house and may be considered within that executive order endorsed by congress called the reorganization of the executive branch in 1933, the areas in which the national park service was responsible after that authorization was signed by president roosevelt, doubled all the revolutionary sites, civil
war sites, statute of liberty, the parks in washington, d.c., the statute of liberty all came on the national park service. and then we, as well, we went into the depression followed by the second world war two, followed by the korean war, so a few were added here and there. and then in the '60s, there was discretion by maybe more consequently large urban areas were established. something else was taken place come 1960 up until today is a full recognition, not only by the government, but indeed by the american people that if we are to be sincere about recognizing the contributions that all people, regardless of the walk of life originally ethnic background, they made a contribution, and those legacies should be perpetuated within the national parks system.
so in 1943 was the first area of specifically to recognize the contribution of african-american that enjoy washington carver, followed by booker t. washington monument in 1956. then congress authorized the national council of women who conducted bethun in 1960 and that memorial was dedicated in 1974. but i often said that mr. douglas and i, douglas and i met the national park service in the same year. think about that. first degree sz seasonal granger in 1962 and on september 5, 1962, president john f. kennedy signed legislation, the unit of the national park system. and mr. douglas, even before then was a part of me, but the fire started burning deeply from the time that his legacy became
a unit of the national park system. but today with president obama's extensive use of the -- of the act that gives president unilateral authority to establish monument out of the existent federal property, there are over 30 areas, included the under ground railroad network to freedom and specifically commemorate individual african-americans of major events associated with african-americans, selma to montgomery, tuskegee airmen and what have you. but realize that our story is more than that and certainly, if you would, take a look at the scope of our history as prevailed and unvailed at the mu z zee yum -- we have only touched what we have done on this land to bring this country to the place it is. so while we are optimistic that new area will be added to the national park system, there's
413, as of this date, and i thank you for president obama leaves office, there may be a couple of more and the growth will continue. it will continue. but that's only part of the challenge. the other part of the challenge is what do you do with the existing here, recognizing that our fore parents and contemporary have put their footprint and hand print on every piece of land in this country. and that story fully needs to be told. i will close with this observation, that we never should relinquish and dr. battle, you know, they didn't write this script, but they would have suggested it would be the script area. is that what we do need to be well rounded in scholarship, that's only half of it. having the scholarship is to have the will to share this scholarship through the
education. and sometimes the things that we will tell would not be those that make people jump up and clap and feel proud, perhaps they should in langston hughes' words would be ashamed. but yet the full story has to be told and that has been done now. i do have one historical document that belongs to the park service. i sort of kept it for a while. but in 1978 -- let me back up. again, i told you i was going to be here. there were two brothers and they have not gotten their full due. and before i transition up or down, i'm going to be advocated that they get their full due. vo bert and vince deforest.
and they convene an outstanding panel of scholars and produce a number of proposals that wept through the national parks and many national historic landmarks came out of it. and if you were to take a look at the -- the new areas in the park system, they were first recognized as national historic landmarks, wood son, charles young, maggie lee walker, coming out of that effort.
state of texas and several others. if you were to go, you could see the manifestation of what this report did. that was in 1978. for us, again, it produced a scholarship, park service had willed to use that scholarship to broaden the interpretation of insight, so lieutenant flicker and the buffalo soldier at fort davis texas realized in that story, five blacks served with john brown in the raid, their story is told, shepherd's college will wish with the board of trustees with office, the niagram movement. it can be done. the scholarship had to be done and then had the will to move upon that. that is the challenge for the future. certainly with a diversed population of over 300 million people, there are so many stories to be told and scholarship had to be collected,
analyzed and made useful to tell the story of all americans, of all americans. >> thank you. >> we've worked, of course, with a park service to acquire the land that the museum sits on and i have -- i've had a long working relationship with the park service which is an event every year on park service land, but i wanted to go back for a moment and i have a couple of questions for you, too, bob. >> okay. >> if any of you saw that piece, you saw that my father was
holding me as a two or three-year-old in yellow stone looking like i wanted to run somewhere. i object to the form got a copy of that picture right about the time i thought it passed. i started to going to parks very early, we lived in california. we lived in hawaii and so i went to the big island and saw the val cone know and that's at national park as well. we drove west and this is what you will drive, will explain, what it's restaurants are. what its minds were, what its historic sites were. we would have the book as we drove from d.c. to north carolina or from new york to north carolina. and my mother's people were from goldsboro, but my father's people were from oklahoma. and the park service eventually did a study of the tulsa
massac massacre, as we call it, to justify recreating it into a state national park. in summer of '66 we drove west. we went from chicago to st. louis. >> i became a proofreader for textbook at 13. and then up into idaho and montana and north dakota. so we went to great canyon. we went to mount rush more. then many more recent years i've gone to some of the national parks.
he had another house where the african art museum was started that didn't make it into the park service system. and the association for african-american museums had its meeting in roanoke so we visited booker t. and when this conference or the association of african-americans meet, we try to learn about the history of the place. and therefore we went on the montgomery trail and so saw the museum both in selma and midway point where there's an interpretative center. and then, i guess, the most recent part -- site i've been to is right here in richmond. so i got use to going to parks
as natural sites, as historic sites and then later as african-american sites i was on the panel a couple of years ago. and the session looked at national parks that weren't designated around african-american history, but later was discovered an african-american layer. our history is hidden and sometimes hidden in plain site, but certainly hidden. it was known as a battle site. then people looked at who owned the land where the battle took place and it was a french family that had and brought their enslaved people with them to this plantation and they were infamous for not giving them sufficient food or clothing the
great swamp which was on the father's book run away slaves was created as a natural site until it was discovered that they had been living there as freed people from probably 1,600 on. it was assumed to be uninhabitable and people let them continue to assume because they won't find us living in here until they begin to need the cypress to be cut and the people living in the swamp had actual employment around cutting the cypress trees. so wherever we are, we need to discover the history of the place, whether it's a park service site or not. right now we are waiting the
unvailing of two newlingof two d.c. for those of you who know where the museum, it's at that corner. because as we've been planning this museum, we've been studying what our neighborhood like. what was our neighborhood like 100 years ago, 200 years ago. well in 1790s it was all plantation because our first capitals were new york and fill lade -- philadelphia. there were african-americans working. but i was reading years ago trying to learn about d.c. -- she mentioned across the street, she looked at 1830s, there were slave panels, that got my attention. later this month we will unvail two new signs at dc at the
corner of 7th and independence. there are no signs currently talking about slavery and d.c. unless they're pearl on the river. because when lincoln came from illinois, he could see the slave pins from his offices. and he wrote about it. and so on the slavery in d.c. we have the lincoln of what it looked like to him. and then we have a second sign slave pins in d.c. and we took from so solomon, the description where he was captured, we're using images from broad side slave market of america, condemning private and public prisons in d.c. and 1836. so we have to bring this history to light. we have to continue those of you working on the dissertation and
know there's more research to be done to find out the history of our place. >> do you have a question to pose. >> yes. what was it like working at frederick douglas? >> frederick douglas was my first superintendent, well, include areas in d.c. and then -- national capitol parks east is included parks washington, d.c. and maryland. i was appointed in 1970 by george first negro superintendent appointed the parks service, notwithstanding that charles young had served as an active superintendent 13 years before there was national park service. as i mentioned earlier, that douglas was authorized by act of congress, signed by president
kennedy in '62, but -- and most of the women that frederick douglas association of the -- under the leadership of the first lady president dr. bethum, raised money and tried to keep the house up, what have you. it wasn't until 1970 that congress appropriated, i think it was $542,000 that -- was the initial restoration of the home and proud that that happened in my first superintendent si. the ar the architect of the visitor center. and the film produced there
shown at the home was by black producer who died not too long ago but interesting enough the adviser for the film and the superintendent therefore year apparently and was booted to the u.s. virgin islands, you know, you have to work somewhere. >> what has been the challenge of bringing in african-american sites into the system? >> i go back and touch on this extensively. my first 23 years in this country was different all of my childhood and my school was under the doctrine of -- i could
not enter the front door where my mother to order a cup of coffee, not until 1964. so steward had the courage to select young african-american male to go into predetermined locations before there was a civil rights act of '64. you talk about the travel how they refused service in jackson, wyoming along with two other african-americans at that time. what i have experienced over my half of a century is that the story has to be gotten out more to our young people about the richness of the experience from intellectual, the parks need to continue to describe the breath of this programs and activity.
unfortunately, too often the parks and park service are perceived as being tree huggers and bare chasers, with more than that. the other thing while i was arranged and the rangers are at the vanguard of the park service, the only representative percentage of the work force, there's very technical professional discipline there is in the ranks of the park service say maybe euro surgeon, civil engineers, architect, visual artist, computer specialist, budget financial, those career opportunities have to be shared with our young people to say, you know, i may not want to be in yellow stone out front. i do want to be engineer or landscape architect as part of my -- therefore people have a limited perception about what the career opportunities are. and so that story has to be continued over to our young people as they've planted their years. >> similarly in the museum
world, we have to explain, when they come to the museum, they see the final product. >> that's right. >> they don't know all the years and all the hand that have touched this project in as it's been in gestation. so we use to have a program called career awareness who we brought middle school students to see the museum behind the scene, and i think we may need, similarly to the park service. we may need to expose young people to the range of park service career -- >> that's it. >> and the training that you need for these different positions. >> yeah. right. >> to engage them. i spoke to a group of high school girls. it was a girls school last year and i started by talking about all the different careers in cultural institution. >> yeah, sure. >> do you want to be the architect. do you want to own the company that builds the billing. we need lawyers. the smithsonian is a billion dollars business. we need people who can keep
track of money. i mean, so there are all these different aspects that people don't know about it, similarly, in the parks trust. now, the audience may not know this, but the park service actually played a major role in the evolution of the museum, the national museum. presidential commission was appointed by president george w. bush and the commission was staffed by the park service and a number of your colleagues led it through that period. and at the very beginning we realize, we were two different worlds using similar but not exactly the same language, so we had to clarify what you mean by story and what we mean by story. >> that's right. but the park service ably managed that commission and then the commission made the report recommending that this new museum be created under the
auspices of the smithsonian, particularly, so it would have access to federal funds. it's a federal quasi federal, we've received most of the money from appropriated funds. we have to raise money on the private side, for educational programs, for other things. we work very well with the park service. and before we opened, we actually signed a memorandum of understanding, between the museum and the park service and i think your hands were somewhere involved in that. >> yeah. >> of course, washington, d.c., so when a person is considering a career with the national park
service while they may have an interest of being at ever glades, at magalina you're a park service employee. there may be an occasion where there will be an opportunity or your need for skills and knowledge in alaska and hawaii and the virgin aisland and puero rico, in terms of being able to immediate all of the demand by having capable people who are willing to pick up and relocate. and that's what we're trying to encourage as well. i don't know how we're doing on time now. >> we've got a few minutes left. i want to toss an unfair question. nothing happens outside of context. we have communities all across the country, african-americans communities that are reeling through a variety of issues. what are the -- what is the role of history. the african-american experience of providing healing, giving
people hope and anchoring folks to a history that is glorious and then the role of park service. >> excellent, allen. mr. douglas in one of his last speeches, he spoke about we differ as a ways but are as one as the sea. i have concluded that there is a have prominent role that the parks can play. there is a role that the national park service and the parks can play in unifying us as a people recognizing that we
have made some previous mistakes along the way. but we should be able to learn from those previous mistakes so i think more than the african-american experience is shared across racial and ethnic lines and vice versa, we can understand and respect one's background and culture. but if we stay divided and move on our own pipe, then we'll never be reunited. so if you were to take a look at the areas in the park system, they really are beginning to reflect the face of america in terms of our accomplishment as well as some difficult periods. and i will just close -- and i want to embarrass john here because spirit father burns and
john served as national park system, chairman of the national park system advisory board and under his leadership, they reduced a report called rethink of the national park of the 21th century. if you were to read this, i think it might be on line that would give a response to the challenges that's confront lastly, had/keep a copy of his speech with me in his four pages, more wisdom and john made this comment, when we think about some of the comments, of places that represent sad chapter, gettisburg, selma to
montgomery, port chicago, battle of little big hornet, sand creek massacre. people said those places that represent difficult periods in our history where we have stumbled on the way to more perfect union are not places in which we should allow ourselves to wallow in remorse, but rather be moved to a higher result to become better citizens. that is the bottom line to why we have national parks, hopefully to stimulate us to become better citizens. >> once i continue to learn the history of smithsonian. i learn that the museum was created in partnership with the national park service on park service land. >> what's the name of the park where it's located.
>> anacostia. >> fort stanton. >> i like that. that's a beautiful name, isn't it? >> fort stanton is the location and the secretary of smithsonian at that time, riply, in response to the king assassination and washington going up in flames decided to create a museum in the neighborhood. that's why it's called the anacostia neighborhood museum. when i joined the institution in '87, the park service were in the process of planning their first urban nature trail. and i thought, what a wonderful opportunity to show -- to teach young people about nature in the city, what's poisonous, how can
you tell which way is north. so they created an under ground railroad trail in the park in the city so people could learn about nature. unfortunately we've got too urban sometimes, but that was part of the experience, as well. i think we can do more of that in urban settings to help us all. plaus plaus. >> i want to welcome to the --
[ applause [ applause ] for this second session we'll have presentations by all five panelists and once those presentations are concluded, we'll have some discussion among the panelists and we'll stand for questions and answers from the audience. >> i'm going to come down to the microphone and i'm comfortable with that. i was an interpreter for ten out of 15 years, this is more
comfortable than sitting down. even though being behind the podium is kind of odd. frederick douglas didn't like being behind the podium, is that right? it's one of the sites where i worked for eight years. my new role in the last years as the regional cultural anthropologyist in national capitol region with the national parks service, this is a really exciting program to expand, it's only three years old there. however, in the national park service we've been doing anthropology for essentially the lifetime of the national park service, which is why the arrowhead is a part of our logo, the relationship that we had with traditionally associated people and as our program is expanding, we're exploring our contemporary groups who are friends and neighbors and caring people who are close to national
parks. i'm going to talk about how we engage with resource we haven't always had a chance to talk about. we talk about the structures, the landscapes, the histories and the stories, there are people who are relevant today, who view the topics that we study and interpret as close to their hearts and so my resource is to actually peek, which is a little bit different than our normal focus. i'm helping to frame what they're going to talk. we're trying to tell the full story, that's what former director stanton talked about is how we have come to expand our dialogue and moving into the next 100 years how we're move inclusive and that isn't only
about history of people it's giving their own voice to tell their story. >> sbe lek intel -- when you're about enabling legislation, all of that foundational information that we produce and explore in order to be able to tell the stories and to identify the communities we want to reach. . sacred places, contemporary communities, this is essential to tell the full story.
. they're involved in so many different ways with many of the sites that have come on board many have been participating on those round tables, that's one of the ways that we connect with people that we understand what the concerns of communities are, that we have a clear understa understanding of what the core values are and the resources are at our park so that we can tell the full story. we tell the story through interpretation, through education programs, through partnerships and through studies. big part of the work that i'm doing is actually the study component. so oral history projects, overviews and assessments, public meetings, the scholars
round table, i mention, those are the types of studies and opportunities that we conduct that allow us to engage with communities. the images that i have here are actually from national monument, the first of the national monument established by president obama through the anticties act. today there are so many, it's hard to count. visitor services and we went through a planning process. it's not a requirement, but we knew that it was the right thing to do and that is how we gained those people stories until the individuals you see in these photographs are actual desen dents of contraband, or members
of the contraband historical society, some of you are familiar with the 1861 history of three men arriving at fort monroe and that leading to the first confiscation act, the second confiscation act and ultimately the emancipation proclamation. these are core documents related to the african-american experience and we're able to engage with community to tie their history, their family legacy to that incredible time and they share the table with desen dent from the contraband community and we'll likely talk about the experience in continuing living history. i will like to share that there are several studies that were mentioned today that take place in the national capital region
through the civil rights funding, through previous funding opportunities that are core and social in expanding the talent of the african-american experience, the african-american experience is one of the studies that we've conducted in the national capital region, that was done through an oral history project in the office where i work. and these things don't happen that we incredible history is there, what's the next step, community engagement, you don't stop with the study and put it on the shelf. you can go to the next slide. >> when we have the opportunity to explore these topics, we're using several different programs in order to do so, we're able to dig into histories related to several different communities and -- i'm getting close to my
seven minutes i'm going to come back to urban agenda and climate change. but what we really excited me was in the beginning of the presentation here when former director stanton mentioned emotional connections and that's the part that we have a hard time with and it's one of the ways that interpretation and anthropology go hand in hand because we're looking at what's important to that community, what they see as sacred, what they see as traditionally associated and these could be any communities. as i mention, we often time things of native americans, you can be talking about fisherman, african-american community, or the homeless or recreation
activities. so we have studies on all of those topics. but we explore self determination, uncertainty, trauma, risk, resistance, and we celebrate those successes, as well, by exploring these histories through anthropology. you can go to the next slide. it was shame. it's hard to talk about slavery with anybody. i learned while in interpreting at fort monroe, that whether you were talking to an african-american who actually presented programs or a white male in his 30s, they had some of the same struggles in spending a full day our
behaviors, our family histories, those are not -- national monument. foundation planning, they become something, they don't just sit on the shelf. so you can move on. >> walking tours are huge part of the programming that we offer. this is from the annual contraband commemorative programming in may of each year. you can move on to the next slide. conferences, our relationships with universities are critical in accomplishing the studies that we do, as well as us
presenting at many of these conferences. the next slide. we provide consultation to local museums. this is actually from an exhibit at the hampton city museum, so this was not a national park service exhibit, but we provided some subject matter expertise and you can move on to the next slide. and multi media. and so our web sites, like the network to freedom web site, has videos, educational materials and the like. so i wanted to sort of set up for you how the work that we do in collaboration with you become ultimately becomes programming. and so my colleagues are going to talk about a few more of those opportunities. one of which, that i'll mention, is urban agenda which has been an excellent partner with the national -- an excellent opportunity with the national
park service for collaboration internally and led to the study that was mentioned early in 1968 d.c. riots which follow dr. king's assassination as well as the summer which is managed in my office as well. i have a colleague in the audience, he'll be assisting us with some of that research. so there are a lot of direct opportunities here, opportunities for student researchers, opportunities to collaborate with universities, interviews that will be taking place like with mr. stanton and several of these other leaders who were new in their roles in the national park service in the 1960s and took an incredible risk to do something different. i believe lou ann quoted that the national park service can be activists. is that -- is that the quote. yes. and that's incredible for our organization to think about, especially from a contemporary
context. i thank you for my few minutes. i hope i didn't go too long and i'm happy to answer the question. [ applause ] >> thank you. that was a great setup of what we're all here to do today. my name is adina rogers. as part of our conversation today, we're talking about how the national parks service works and collaborates and extends our reach by working with partners and maggie walker established 1978. and the establishing legislation basically said here's your one boundary point, the other boundary point go forth and do good.
there was not much in that, that sets up a lot of parks, but maggie walker was established because theres with a hole in the national parks service. they needed parks that were in an urban environment. parks that talked about women, african-americans and what better place than in richmond virginia, to be at the home of a black woman coming up in jim crowe segregation and establishing and being active in civil rights. that is what we represent, interpret the home and setting of mrs. walker. from the beginning, the story of maggie walker was a
collaborative effort it started out with partnerships, and people who had a good feeling of how this story should be interpreted it started working the parks service from the beginning and continue to work with the parks service today and in the future. what i'm going to do is talk about those successful partnerships we've had from the past, present and future. i mentioned that we were established as a site in 1978. there was a lot of work that went into it beforehand. there was a foundation that was essential in bringing the park to the -- to reality. this group started as a study from what i understand of an
asalah chapter. and from the early years of that organization for at least 20 years or more, they were the heart of helping the park and doing programs and getting the word out about the national park. it was the seeds of that organization that some of our present day programs are in place. such as our leadership program we have every summer starting from 2010, and we have gone forward with that project ever since. we have invited students from the greater richmond area, age 14 to 18 to come to maggie walker historic site for two weeks, they learn about maggie walker, the challenges of
leading and learning in the jim crowe era, but also how it applies to their lives today the students often times in schools aren't exposed to the african-american history. they come thinking about jackson ward and what they heard in the papers or on tv i had one group say, are we really going into jackson ward? because they heard of all the violence. you're sitting in jackson ward right now. oh. we were able to get them to be comfortable with this area. anna edwards helped us out with that too. in that having them tour through richmond with a different set of
lens, different set of eyes to learn about the african-american history, that's always been around them, and that they were a part of, but never really realized. that is how partnerships are working with maggie walker site in the national parks service. she was an activist in her day. we're able to take that legacy of hers and be active in our own community. we cannot do it by our selves. . organizations such as the historical foundation have really worked with the national parks service at the site to extend our outreach and extend knowledge about us. we have alumni of the maggie o walker high school, the ones who graduated from maggie l. walker
high school between 1938 and 1979, well, mainly it's the later ones who are still active and around with us. the class of '65 for example has worked very well with the national parks service during our programming and helped as we are working alongside the city of richmond to get a memorial to maggie walker established right here. and then we have several initiatives that we have been working with. that help the park with its outreach, such as the historical black colleges, universities initiative to bring students from schools such as virginia union university into the park, from howard university, into the parks, and to experience and get exposed to those kinds of job opportunities that are available and then the urban agenda as you've heard about three or four
times. we're finally going to bring that to the fore. we had urban archaeology. another youth centered initiative to get the students involved. the pilot program was at maggie l. walker national historic site. we cannot do it without the individua individuals, our volunteers, student interns and the people of the community that most most recently we have been doing oral history programs. bringing oral history and interviewing those. just about four days ago, we had the second street festival here in richmond, and we had planned to do as we good during our founder's day celebration to sit down and have interviews with the people who are part of this community. we weren't able to do that this
time. but as we were doing our tours, i met a person who had been in the same church as maggie walker, he recalled seeing her wheeled into the first african baptist church. imagine that we got his address and contact. this history is still alive. as we were doing the tours at the second street festival. there's an older gentleman who spoke directly to one of the young boys who was also on the tour. and he talked about how you had to be -- work twice as hard and be twice as good to achieve success as he was growing up and that you still had to do that now.
to see that interaction and -- it moved me to tears. this is an active living breathing story still has impact today. through our partnerships, we were able to do as mrs. walker would say one of our staff's favorite quotes, about how the pennies, nichols, dollars of an individual might be few, but when combined they turn that weak word few into the powerful word many through our partnerships with individuals, organizations and through initiatives, we were able to take all those few things and
turn them into a powerful, powerful thing. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> i'm erica gay, the urban fellow for richmond virginia, representing the urban agenda that's been mentioned i'm going to talk a little bit about what the urban agenda is. i'm not sure how many people are familiar with it here, i'm going to walk-through and talk about the urban agenda. the demographics of the united states have changed dramatically. in 1960, 50% was urbanized.
these changes affect how parks are valued, visited, supported and what kind of development is appropriate. the national park service has sites in 40 out of 50 of the most populous cities in the united states more than one third of all national parks are located in metropolitan areas and 36% of all national parks service visitation takes place in urban units. much of the success of the national parks service in coming years will depend on its ability to diversify and prove its relevancy to new populations. millennials are less likely than previous again races to value spending time outdoors.
strengthening diversive relationships and aligning with community driven agendas that relate to the national parks services mission. are among the strategies required to help create relationships and diversify new audiences. the national park services called to action, started new and expanded thinking about ways to better connect urban communities to their heritage, parks, recreational assets, waterways and neighborhoods. the urban agenda sets out three principles in order to make that connection. be relevant to all americans. activate one nps and nurture a culture of collaboration.
the national parks service is retooling its strategy to address relevancy, diversity and inclusion as a multidimensional approach in all parks and programs. this strategy addresses underrepresented communities. we're also collaborating closely with community partners, as we've heard today carefully crafting youth initiatives resulting in deeper engagement. a recent groundwork rva and urban archaeology core dig in the churchill neighborhood. following the model of the urban agenda, i worked with park staff to further develop this long
term and dynamic youth program that builds stewards for the future. in the social fabric of that local community. using the fields of archaeology, written research, oral history, and public interpretation the park knew they could help teach our youth to discover for themselves a rich and relevant history and turn and power their richmond community to take stock in their shared past the national parks service will continue to find ways to add value and help solve problems in complex partnerships outside of the parks service. currently in richmond, through the urban agenda. the park service is building an
alliance with the parks services, that leverage the full suite of the national parks service programmatic and parks assets. through the trails called enhanced connections at historic belisle, james river and the community. it's been estimated that nearly 1 1/2 million visitors explore these sites on rich monday's riverfro riverfront. this diverse committee will decide the most important aspects of new enhanced connecti connections and move forward with implementation across the united states, 10 model cities were chosen as a place that demonstrates how the national parks service can activate the
urban agenda each of these ten cities has a representative like myself. if you would like to know who your urban fellow is, in boston, new york, philadelphia, d.c., jacksonville, detroit, sarnt lou louis, tucson or our city city, richmond, california, please see me afterwards and i will tell you who your fellow is and their contact information. the key roles of the urban fellow are to engage in community outreach initiatives. build audiences with federal state and local agencies. educational institutions, foundations and many others. to designing and launch city specific initiatives, engage national parks services in identifying opportunities for
collaboration and demonstrating the one nps model. to act as the representative of the urban co hort and feeder to the national network 37 we're 1 1/2 years into the urban agenda initiative. we have our final report and wrap-up in august 2017. i hope to see you all there. i brought some copies of the urban agenda that were distributed at the launch. they're in the back of the room, very informative, please pick one up on your way out. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> sorry. the perils of being born to one side of the family, where they
are not very tall. my name is emmanuel dabney. i'm the curator at petersburg national battlefield. i'm in my 15th year. and i still want to shake yola. she left fort monroe before i could beg and plead her to take me in as her interpreter it i love petersburg national battlefield, i grew up with it i am part of the community that does not really exist with work that erika does. i grew up rural, i grew up in poverty, i only discovered so after my mother's death.
i found tax records that said i was impoverished. i sympathize with some, not all of the folks who live in urban communities. but i grew up very near our battlefield. at least one of those sights, it was a running joke i would work there one day. i did, i am still there, i have to stay to this or allen will shoot me. petersburg national battlefield was created in 1926 as an effort to commemorate the military actions that occurred around petersburg in 1864 and 1865, when union troops were attempting to seize that city from confederates. and, of course, the confederate military forces were trying to hold on to the important city. for years, the themes of white
american's honor, courage, bravery pervaded the stories told, in large part because confederate union, white veterans, decided that they would be better off in the long run if they stood together and found something that they could agree on that told the story of the civil war almost as the story, and not the many stories and complexities therefore the stories of people who were of african dissent, any other dissent, even some white people that were from immigrant communities that came here as a result of problems in europe, their stories were ignored for the most part. and in petersburg, we were really at the historical time period, a large presence of united states color troops,
during the military campaign. before the war was thought about, petersburg had a large free black and enslaved population one of the largest in what would soon be the confederate states of america. we're taking away these stories to give it to the story that some group of veterans decided was going to be the story. in 1951, the nps produced a historical handbook that does not mention the color troops. the author mentions the presence of black soldiers at the battle of the crater, but doesn't offer indepth discussion about the relationship between a white
union soldiers, black union soldiers and confederate soldiers on july 30th, 1864 when that battle was fought. what you're seeing here are the park brochures from 1965 which doesn't mention u.s. color troops at all, despite at the bottom, it's hard to see -- there's a whole section of the battle of the crater where 4,300 black people were fighting. we won't mention that. two years later, when we got our new visitor's center, the pack debuted an electric battle map with audio to orient visitors to this story of petersburg, and we just recently got rid of the audio component of that.
once it mentions negro. just once. that's it. with the hiring of black seasonal staff that portrayed colored troops, things started to change. and also our crater walking tour in the 1990s and possibly bef e before. the park unveiled a monument to u.s. color troops in 1993. most park visitors don't do what most of what we're known for is guided tours of the parks. starts in the late 1990s, under the leadership of former historian and my former boss chris caulkins, these stories
were pushed along. he wrote two brochures regarding blacks during the petersburg campaign. the 1864 battlefield. one of which you're seeing here. on the original defensive line built to protect petersburg by slave and free black people for the most part. captured by people who were black. it was ignored early on even in the early interpretive markers in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. and the '70s and '80s, but anyway, we got there. so the confederate counterattack, next slide.
which is on the rear side of our crater, the one thing that petersburg is known for. we always try to help people along to know about the other 291 days. this sign doesn't really get into the complexity of the story of the deployment of u.s. color troops. some things you just can't write in less than 200 words. thankfully the sign has audio, you can press the silver button and you'll hear quotes from confederate troops and union troops about the confederate counterattack as it affected everyone that was on the battlefield that day the quotes are getting back to what was referenced earlier by both dr.
franklin and our former director stanton. sometimes they're not the pretty things, the uplifting things, they're not the martha ended with voting rights just magically signed by lbj, which we know it's not how it happened. there's a lot of bloodshed, it's a civil war battlefield. it's not just bullets, but bayonets. in my role now as the curator, we have some of those things, and so we let the people who experience that tell those story s in their own words as they wrote them. we have a few new signs including this one which was installed at the location where the u.s. color troops waited before they went into the
assault at the crater and where many will come back through if they're able to get off the field. the audio from the old 1960s electric map was replaced with an 18 minute film in 2014. the film features u.s. color troops and photos and the audio. unlike the previously 34e7ksed brochu brochure. it features the counterattack across the top, displaying the u.s. color troops, about to come into hand to hand combat there. the victim roys of capturing confederate positions are now credited to u.s. color troops instead of just union troops. i think you got ahead of me.
can we go back a slide? my tours of the crater battlefield place this well known event within its historical context. because of the supreme court decision that said people of african dissent were not citizens, had no rights that white men were bound to respect, created interesting position for the lincoln administration, that president not really caring for the supreme court's head justice who wrote the majority opinion for the dread-scott position.
racism permeated the country. my tours feature not taking white officers as prisoners, treating them as if they were leading slave insurrection. they are never referred to as soldiers. black soldiers weren't going to take prisoners when they encountered confederates. the reason they should remember, they screamed, remember ft. pillow. more quotes from confederate soldiers discussing their fury against the color troops in the battlefield, and the small number of white troops who discussed seeing other white troops turn against black union troops, killing them as they said, in an effort to preserve white people's lives.
the area of the battlefield that's seen the most changes of blacks during the prewartime. the park largely did not interpret the epps family. richard epps at the peak of the plantation, the owner. the director in 1983 wrote, the park and this office recognize that refurnishing the house to reflect an 1850 to 1860 lifestyle will contribute little to understanding the role of the site in 1864 to 1865. the site that abraham lincoln
visited, many people who were black saw as their emancipator. we shouldn't discuss the plantation with this president. they keep hospitals functioning. buildings constructed. we're not going to discuss the break between enslavement and not? we didn't early on. i started working there in 2001. i didn't know anything about some of these initiatives that were happening under director stanton. i just saw a plantation that literally had a plaque on the wall, the life on this plantation changed dramatically during the civil war. so i changed our christmas program from what i like to call a cider and cookies program and
don't tell you about how people in the past may have celebrated or not. you're seeing here a program i developed as a result of building off the christmas program. we went chronologically from the 1860s. i was joined by a host of friends and nps colleagues and volunteers to come and represent mrs. epps, and the majority of the plantations, we had 12 people representing some of the enslaved community that either lived on richard epps plantation
or a woman who managed to get married to one of epps' slaves from a neighboring plantation. we discuss the approaching forces. what did emancipation mean? is it going to happen to me? what's going to happen when the yankees arrive? slave owners filled the ears of slaves with tales of one eyed men and they had horns and tails and people were evil. some believed it, some didn't. i wanted to try to capture that moment for our visitors. i see one person in the audience who was able to join for that program beyond living history programs, we had these out buildings that weren't being interpreted. developed some flyers for those, and i also was able to work with
a company in maryland who presented these three dimensional figures that represent folks who would have been here prior to the civil war and in some cases after as well. our kitchen laundry building represented here on the left we have a museum figure representing sarah caldwell who was the laundress here. then you're seeing richard epps the man who owns the plantation. and james madison ruffin, the first enslaved person that epps personally purchased. we got various ways that people can connect. and these figures have transformed people a's visit to the site.
they have to discuss slavery every time they walk past these historic rooms and spaces. they created a lot of dialogue. opened up conversations about race in the past, the present who got to decide what race was. and it's been an exciting venture with them. lastly i would be an awful curator if i didn't say, we can only do some work by talking. we need stuff to help illustrate. dr. franklin has many things at his museum that i would like to see in my museum. but we have been fortunate with a little perseverance and a little luck you can find things.
a lady contacted me about this muster role, she was cleaning out a house. the family didn't want it. i tried to convince her to tell them they didn't know what they had. they weren't interested. the park was able to use some partner money to acquire this item. at the same time, another one appeared on ebay. we were able to get the seller to work with the parks service and we were able to acquire that one as well we went from having one photograph showing unknown u.s. color troops, to having that photo. and now two roles. some of which where these men signed their own named others where it illustrates the inequity in this country.
there's a changed dynamic with those people and their relationship with the federal government. that's where i'm going to stop. [ applause ] >> show and tell. so i have way too many slides and part of the reason for that is, i can go off on many tangents when talking about this. i'll start and we'll see how we go. i'm really excited because gina asked me to participate in this panel. we worked together for the first time this summer and clearly after that experience and after
what i've been listening to along with you, is so over due. it's really over due let me back up and give you an introduction my name is an that edwards, i'm chair of the sacred ground reclamation project. it's a project of a community organization. a social justice oriented organization. with a very long name with the defenders for freedom, justice and equality. . we got started in 2002, concerned about many things we were seeing in the richmond community. some of them specifically maybe urban dynamics of poverty, housing, food, education, mostly i think in those years, it was the yim nall justice system and its implications for families in the community we were hearing from a lot of families who had someone in prison or jail and
the effect that was having on the family as they were trying to make their way without either a breadwinner or a loving person in the family or with whatever that dynamic was. that focus meant that -- and we're going to stay here for a little while. you can vest for a minute. at the same time we're looking around, we're hearing things about richmond. i got here in 1988, and to -- i've been told that's very new to richmond. and in 2002 i had been here what, 10 -- whatever, my math -- i'm not going to do math tonight. in 2002, there were a couple things that bubbled up. one was learning the story of
gabriel's rebellion. and combined with that was coming to understand that there was this place in richmond that was a part of his story. and it's kind of a backwards introduction. gabriel is an enslaved blacksmith on a plantation in henrique co, that belonged to the prosser family, and the plantation itself is called brookfield. gabe kree el was one of the core group of conspirators that planned a rebellion that would have been the largest single rebellion to have taken place in virginia in the year 1800. who we learned, of course, is that when he was captured, put on trial, and finally executed. he was executed on the site of the old burial ground. at that time you couldn't see the burial ground. it was under pavement, under a parking lot. now, the story of the rebellion
was interesting, people didn't seem to know -- they knew something about it, but when you pressed people they didn't know anything. henrico county is different. they had a grasp of that story, because it came out of there. and it affected so many people down through the generations, and gabriel's rebellion had a tremendous effect on the social dynamics of being plaque in virginia after the rebellion because of their effort and the efficacy of their effort, there were new laws instituted, if you became free you had six months to a year to leave the state of virginia or risk reenslavement. i always thought that was a very interesting way to put it. it wasn't that you were guaranteed. you weren't immediately going to be reen slaved.
you simply risked reenslavement. anybody at any given time could suddenly lose their freedom. people began to buy family members. not to free them, but to hold them, technically as enslaved people. in order to keep families together. i try to raise that with people when they start talking about the fact that -- i heard black people owned slaves too. you always have to go back and find the source, and i'm not -- i have not been a historian, this project has made me become a historian. i want to give a little bit of a background to how it was a story like gabriel's rebellion could capture the imagination and a sense of what it is that people have been feeling for a long time. this idea that you have that
there's an arbitrary threat that looms always in your life, i think is akin to what people are feeling now. in the middle of this black lives matter movement, there is this lingering danger around you amount time. i even feel it when my son takes the trash out at night or walks the dog for five minutes at night. i'm literally, my stomach is held in a knot, because i just don't know what's going to happen. gabriel is the story of a young man, 18 to 24 years old -- i said that wrong. gabriel was 24 when this took place. a friend of mine and i presented the story to a group of young men who were 18 to 28 years old in a midnight basketball
program. we did that because we were thinking, these are the men who made all the mistakes, they have children and they have not married or formed tight family units and they are recognizing that and trying to do something about it trying to figure themselves out in relation to society. part of the programming was to deliver cultural programs that would allow them to begin to see outside of their small worlds. we told them gabrielle's rebellion, it took us about 40 minutes to talk about it, and then all of a sudden, one of them asked a question, and he said, so you're saying that gabrielle was fighting the same man that i'm fighting? and once he said that, they took the conversation over they talked about, and they referenced historically, what we had been talking about to the present day. they referenced things they were experiencing back to what gabrielle went through. it was the most empowering thing
i had been through. and it really is the motivation for the work that we do. having given a really long preface to the idea that the sacred ground project was formed in 2005 to reclaim the african burial ground. it needed to be visible, it needed not to be a parking lot any more. it was far too clear that a burial ground that wasn't getting the same attention as the civil war era. the civil war is so profound because it's the end of slavery, and we're talking about a period that's a little earlier and is almost the reinforcement of slavery. because after gabriel's rebellion, the transatlantic slave trade comes to an end and the domestic slave trade bumps up to an enormous scale, and richmond's market becomes the second largest market in the country. we are moving from a seminole
event in richmond's history, that you can put your feet on, you can walk the entire trail if you want to of gabrielle's rebellion. we're talking essentially about a site that needs to be saved, preserved, and baseball stadium developments that had been proposed in 2005, 2009 and 2012, this site needed to be protected because we hadn't even begun to do the real research on it. here we have a site that is so unique, it starts from richmond's original footprint and runs right up to the present we have a living space that allows us to capture the history without doing any building yet. the first step would be to set it aside.
and make sure it's protected from any inappropriate development. the chronology you're looking at is when we engage the story of gab real's rebellion. every year on october 10th, we hold a commemoration and spehr you'll component to the program as well. it became a blended program, it was to tell people about gabriel, about the burial ground and what we were learning about that site it it began to tell the story of every day black people in richmond. therefore, every day white people in richmond. if we're only getting one side of the story that leaves out half of the population -- you're leaving out half of what they're daily lives were like. it was very important to continue to place emphasis on
saying, we're talking about what richmond was, what kind of a city was richmond at that time. . as we moved into 2005, it became about defending the site from the developers and these really enormous ideas that were going to -- they weren't going to destroy the burial ground and probably not lumpkin's jail, they were going to isolate it, and we were going to lose all other opportunities for learning about the second largest slave trade in the community. the other idea that was important is resistance. empowerment, someone who makes the decision in a time, where you know the only result for that is going to be his death. it was the death of 25 co-conspirators. it's the idea of resistance,
people were always fighting back. we were not happy, we were not gentle, we were not lazy. if you want to talk about active resistance, civil disobedience, domestic disobedience, these were active ways of resist iing completely and utterly intolerable situation. i finished reading a book, it's a remarkable telling of violence within the plantation household. and a remarkable counter telling of resistance by enslaved women in the household, that you wouldn't expect to hear. once you read it, it's logical. it's logical. 2005 becomes this period when we're defending from the potential loss of these sights and their context. 2011 is a victory year. in 2010 the pressure from the
community via radio, annual programs, via quarterly newspaper, and lots and lots of public events and press releases and a little bee lidger answer, resulted in enough pressure on the state that they purchase perfected the property, the asphalt was removed and grass is now there, i hope that you all will get to see that during your weekend here. there's a program on sunday october 9th at the end of the conference from 3:00 to 6:00, that is a part of that annual commemoration we do. we switched it from the 10th, because we knew you all were here. we would love it if you would join us. from that moment, 2011 is a victory. 2012 it started all over again. because this is when our mayor, working with a -- several of our
business leaders, put together a proposal for a new stadium development project. what became interesting at that moment is, we went oh, no because we had already been doing this. it became empowering because people from all across the community this time joined it wasn't justus. there were whispers of people who were saying, go, go. you're doing good work, i can't say anything, and they carpet see me, but you're doing good work. we get to be the face and the front of this struggle that clearly has the community's support. it may be hard to point to the people but i've never gotten so many phone calls and e-mails and people coming up to me on the street and writing in and saying can i have one of these? can i hold one of these signs and looking forward to the newspaper we've been putting out since 2005 in order to continue to put pressure, to inform about
process, one of our principle issues is the way the decisions get made around our cultural sights. they have typically been made by a small group of people. sometimes that's a logical thing to do. on the other hand, people can make decisions that leave a lot of people out. we see this site as a representation of trying to and wanting to, and asserting for the value of doing it differently. we have made it center stage, the campaign became no stadium, and lots of people took it up. in 2014, the stadium proposal died. the mayor retracted it, and it is no longer on the table. and we held our breath for six more months before we decided to say, i think it's real.
i think the stadium may finally be gone. now we're focused on what do we want. we went through a community proce process. the term community gets used a lot. i apologize for that. it's a lot of co opting, we've been given an awful lot of agency to say it that way. every event and every activity we try to engage has been as public as we could possibly make it. we wanted people to come and speak and give their ideas. the process we went to specifically for this phase. there have been plans that have been drawn up to are this area including the trail by different people over the course of this entire period of time. and a lot of them got ignored because of the sfat tour of the people who were presenting the stadium proposals and these development projects. we finally decided, let's go
ahead and do it for real, like it's a real community process in that we had open doors, we held meetings around the city, come in, learn the history of this site and tell us what you would like to see down there. we ended up with 24 pages of suggestion suggestions for what people wanted from that site. it's interesting that people don't necessarily know how to describe they want a fountain or a walkway. they know how to express how they feel. what they want to take away. we had to form a slightly smaller group to translate those expressions into a physical landscape. we have conceptual drawings, and at this point if you wouldn't mind, you can just cycle right on through. one after the other.
maybe a half second opinion these were historic markers we created to take people on a tour that we call footprints of a slave trade. tse -- pause for one second. this is a good one. liberating the devil's half acre this one told about lumpkin's jail, told about it getting the nickname the devil's half acre. it cites anthony burns as one of the people who had that will particular experience. because he was one of the most affluent, successful and bully trader was able to create the legal document that allowed her and her children to inherit his property when he died.
the components of these markers all have the site, a text describing what happened in that area, and then a nearby trading site. the purpose of this particular tour was to help demonstrate how large the trade was, and how much a part of daily life these businesses were. now you can just go, and i won't 1207 you again. i talked about the proposal. i can make this pdf available to anyone who would actually like it. we talked about the different aspects of the memorial park, it would go from the burial ground through lump kin's jail area, and out to the east side of the railroad tracks, where this water feature is illustrated. the reason for that, is because the site. if you look at the top of the slide there. the site is between the highway and the railroad tracks and you cannot see it unless you already know it's there.
we need a front porch. we need a way to welcome people in. that's the aren't proposal is for a nine acre memorial park. nine acres encompasses the two sites and what i am commonly referring to as the front porch. we reference how it could be done by tying into the information the city was already providing in terms of how the funding was there, how it could be used. emphasis on master planning and historic overlay district would be important, if we're going to going to protect our resources. archaeology has become the superstar of this entire campai campaign. working on -- the blue dots, represent all of the slave
trading sites that have been identified to this point. the funding. the fact that historic tourism as an intentional plan for promoting richmond is very important the fact that we believe oversight should be done in a way that's similar to the new york central park. there's a private foundation that supports a city owned property. the next steps, we engaged with the university of amherst to come down this summer, they came up with much more beautiful renders than we had before. they are still concept tulle as you can see here, these are the theorys around what these areas represent. and how they fit into the landscape. again, this is available on line as well. we can provide links for you to see that. this is one of their visualizations of what they're
calling a grove of light, to represent the front porch area. >> you're looking down, and you would have this -- these are the resources, these are things that are available on the website in relation to the information. we've had the work of a lot of people. one of our most recent partners is the national parks service. the maggie walker site. the landscape of richmond is transforming, that's very important the lumpkin's jail there will be an announcement made monday about the architectural engineering firm.
to our minds this is the start of the memorial park, even though they haven't agreed to the memorial park. we would very much like you to help us, all of us secure the full site. if we don't secure the full site it will be lost to development, absolutely. it's clear in richmond, where you have the colonial story, the founding story of the country in essence, that gets started there with patrick henry's speech, give me liberty or give me death, 25 years later, you have gab real and his co-conspirators. giving their lives on the african burial ground behind the motto of death or liberty, they were inspired by the haitian revolution. that's richmond, we need to save it. thank you.
[ applause ] >> that was pretty rich. first thing i'd like to do, i know it was up on the screen. can you share your website so people know where to go and where that is. >> sacred ground project.net. you will be distributing these? >> everyone can have one, yes. >> i have 20 with me, but we have boxes of these at preservation virginia, which became a partner as well as the national trust for historic preservation. >> please see anna for your lovely parting gift. at this bone the in time we want to bring in our audience to the discussion. i don't see a roving microphone. i do see a roving microphone. we've got a gentleman back there
who is going to scoot around. do we have questions? please raise your hand and we'll get a microphone to you. questions, comments, rebuttal. gentleman, yes, sir. >> the lady that just spoke there are a lot of sites, blue dots around that area, are they still -- are they covered up, and why do they cover the parking space, why did they make it a parking lot, if you will. >> the life span of the burial ground was from approximately 1750 to 1816, that was because the black community, there was a free black group that petitions for the closure of that site, partly because it was full, partly because it had never been actually designed as a -- it wasn't a beautiful place, it wasn't a well cared for place. it was a place where they would set up the gallos and execute
people. they really felt they had been given the short shrift anyway. they petitioned for a new site, that was granted in 1816. once they left that site, and it being that kind of place, where industry was developing, it was essentially just, the grasses were cut, the trees were cut, and it became other properties. >> in terms of the other sites you're talking about, it's really just over time, those buildings, the businesses, sometimes they were big complexes like lumpkin's jail. after mary sold it and moved to louisiana with her children, it was actually richmond iron works was built on that site. and then later, csx railroad bought that site. this is just the passage of time and changes to the landscape.
>> other questions? >> i have one. i want to go back to emmanuel in petersburg, large african-american communities sur rounding that park. yet we seem to have some challenges in connect iing the african-american communities to the history that's in that park, even though we have the presence of u.s. colored troops, we have the presence of free people and enslaved people who had franchise and energy, and doing their best to self-determine their futures, how do you break down those barriers between that history which is still considered embarrassing by some african-americans, and talk about it as a relevant thing. >> this is the struggle of the
national parks service. everyone on this stage has heard about the things you have mentioned. and we continue to try to work on it. so one of the things that we did at petersburg shortly after i started, was started a partnership sort of between us and the city streets, if you will. and some of the museums that are in the city of petersburg. where we would -- if they weren't coming to us, we'll go to you. which meant that we may have to separate ourselves from that 1864 to 1865 military story and talk about something else. one of the programs that i developed part one and then a part two is slavery and freedom in petersburg, so it's a walking tour in the city. on the sidewalks, going past places where people were bought
and sold. where people were living. we think so much about slavery in a rural context, and forget that white people in urban areas that owned slaves, had to house them somewhere. so we sort of look at that landscape again some of what gina mentioned, using a different lens to see the city. i almost always get local folks coming to those types of programs. and almost always it's, i didn't know, i didn't know. you know, i thought that building in the backyard or that nice big house was the mother-in-law suite. that may be how they're using it now, but the owner of the house and the historical period we're talking about would not have stuck his mother-in-law out back, and this is why.
why does it look this way? i think sometimes we as park service people and other museums, have to be comfortable going to the people and telling them, we're the park service, not the game warden, not the police department, not the forest service, not the whatever else people think we are, and this is what we do. all the things we do people live in national register districts and don't know the national parks service is the manager of the national register. we have to tell people more about what it is we do. and then slowly but surely, those people do start to come in, it's not the volume we want it to be, one of the things we've recently done, we got rid of our fee program, so monetary issues are not a problem now.
we already had people coming in not paying the fee. why do we have it? we're redeveloping a section of the park that abuts up to half the park currently is within two urban communities. and so we're redeveloping a section to welcome those people in. we're doing programs with schools. and a variety of different ways, historical in nature. if you don't have bees, you don't have food, so you better plant some flowers that are going to benefit bees if you plan on eating any more. it's a complex and convoluted way, but we're starting to get the message out beyond our traditional visitors even though we still have a lot of traditional visitors. >> i'd like to add to what you
said, to say, i agree with you 100% and to tag on to that in the sense of the urban agenda. we have been given the go ahead, the nod to say, parks go outside of your boundaries and communicate with the community outside of the park boundaries, and that's new that's not something the parks are used to doing. literally to go meet with people, meet with communities and talk to them outside of the boundaries, represent your parks, but don't always represent your parks, just be seen, be heard, be there outside of park boundaries. you don't always have to go as a representative of a battlefield park, you don't have to talk about the battlefield park, you just have to go and be there.