Lupita Nyong’o has joined a campaign to stop plans to build a baseball stadium over a historic slavery site in Virginia.
The actress, who won an Oscar for her role as slave Patsey in the acclaimed film 12 Years a Slave, wrote a letter to Richmond politicians and lawmakers urging them to block the proposal to erect a sporting venue over Shockoe Bottom, which served as the second largest slave trading center in the U.S. during the 19th century.
Nyong’o took to Instagram on Sunday, posting a photo of a handwritten letter asking Mayor Dwight Jones and members of Richmond’s city council to keep the historical site intact as a reminder of the country’s history.
She added in the caption, “So they want to build a baseball stadium over the archaeological remains of slavery at #ShockoeBottom. Now, I like stadiums but not when they sit atop a people’s heritage! Let’s #SaveShockoe by letting Mayor Dwight Jones and Richmond’s city council know that we’d very much like to keep the evidence of this
So they want to build a baseball stadium over the archeological remains of slavery at #ShockoeBottom. Now, I like stadiums but not when they sit atop a people's heritage! Let's #SaveShockoe by letting Mayor Dwight Jones and Richmond's city council know that we'd very much like to keep the evidence of this history. It's easy: visit http://savingplac.es/1lrZDwr and send in your letter supporting the preservation of Shockoe Bottom's historical remains. There is a template letter that you can personalise. (Click on the blue "Call on Mayor Dwight Jones and Richmond's City Council") #showmeyoursandillshowyoumine
An excerpt from Nyong’o’s letter to Mayor Jones reads:
“Evidence of America’s slave history simply must be preserved, as the legacy of slavery affects all American people… Though this history is ugly and unjust, Shockoe Bottom is a site of conscience, a place where we can bear witness to the human rights abuses of slavery, learn from the lessons of history, and spark a conscience in people so that they can choose the actions that promote justice and lasting peace today…
“I urge you to set aside the baseball stadium plans and, instead, fully involve the public in determining how best to commemorate the past of slavery at Shockoe Bottom.”
There! I've written my letter to Mayor Dwight Jones in my hope to #SaveShockoe. If you are like me and can't read my handwriting, find the typed version on my Facebook page. Write (type, really) your own letter by using the template at: http://savingplac.es/1lrZDwr (Click on the blue "Call on Mayor Dwight Jones and Richmond's City Council) #haveyoursay