ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM)– Representatives from the Alexandria Black History Museum, Preservation Virginia, and other organizations held a conference to speak about the importance of preserving African American historic places.
Brent Leggs, Executive Director of African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund said
“I was the keynote speaker for this conference and I wanted to help inspire this audience of preservationists who are doing amazing work across the state of Virginia to preserve African American historic places and to ensure that this history is preserved.”
Representatives from the Alexandria Black History Museum, the city of Alexandria Planning and Archaeology Department, and many more organizations came to the conference to think of ways to build on the success of past programs for advocating black churches, schools, and cemeteries.
“It is exceptionally important to preserve the physical evidence of our past, beginning from 1619 to today there’s more than a 400-year arc of the black experience so you can tell that story through historic buildings and historic landscapes,” said Leggs.
According to the preservationist, Shockoe Bottom, which was the center of the Richmond slave trade, is now covered in concrete and pavement. Leggs said that hidden history should be rescued.
Audrey Davis, the Director of the Alexandria Black History Museum said preserving black roots is vital.
Audrey Davis, Director of Alexandria Black History Museum said, “African Americans played the most important role in this country, helped build this country were the labor behind these great buildings and these great homes you see and making important contributions.”