’12 Years a Slave’ filming site to become baseball field despite protests
Despite descendants of Solomon Northup protesting the move, a baseball stadium is set to be built on the site where the Academy Award-winning film 12 Years a Slave was shot.
Richmond, Va., Mayor Dwight Jones sees the plan as a way of reviving the moribund area.
It was there that, in 1841, Northup was taken after being drugged by two vaudeville performers, later to be transported to New Orleans.
The site once held over 90 slave dealers and the infamous Lumpkin’s slave jail — also known as “the Devil’s half-acre” — that held Northup at the start of his nightmarish voyage. All that now remains is a stretch of underdeveloped asphalt lots and grasslands, a less-than-desirable construction zone due in part to its proximity to the nearby Shockoe Creek.
The $56 million park will be home to the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the local minor league team. Another $5 million has been set aside for the creation of a slavery museum.
The nearby slave burial grouds, a designated historical landmark by the city, will not be affected by the construction, but several slave-trading sites will be destroyed due to the stadium’s construction.
Northup’s great-great-great-great-granddaughter Linsey Williams has started a Change.org petition in opposition of the building of the field.
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