July 4, 2007
Preparations for a museum celebrating another milestone in America's history are underway.
The brand new United States National Slavery Museum that's set to begin construction this year.
Almost forty untouched acres were donated to this project, located right off I-95 and on the Rappahannock River.
"It's going to be a wonderful, wonderful building for all of America, but specifically for Virginia," said the museum's Executive Director, Dr. Vonita Foster.
The museum is the brainchild of former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder.
"He felt that America needed to have a museum exclusively focusing on telling a more complete story about slavery," said Foster.
Helping tell that story will be a 290,000 square foot glass building complete with everything from a center for learning to a computer lab.
Dr. Foster says Virginia was chosen as the site for the museum for a number of reasons; mainly because Virginia is the birthplace of many American presidents and is also where slavery first started in America.
Dr. Foster says, "I think this project is important because young people, regardless of your race, your color or your ethnicity; young people need to know the story of slavery and all of our history."
They also hope that by building this museum they wont only be celebrating the spirit of freedom for African Americans in this country, but also the spirit of freedom for people worldwide, as well.
"It really is a monument for all people that actually fought and have desired for all people all over the world to be free. It's for those who risked their lives for freedom for others and that's the monument that we have created here," said Foster.
The spirit of freedom garden is currently open to the public.
Phase one of the museum is set to open in 2008.
For more information on the United States National Slavery Museum, click on the "newslinks" section of this website.
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