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Jul 6, 2018 25 tweets 12 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I want to tell you all stories about two historic places I visited last year: Devil’s Half Acre in Richmond, VA and Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in Poland. (1/24) #RVA 🧜🏻‍♀️
Near the end of April 2017 was the first time I went to the Devil’s Half Acre. Some may also know this site by the name Lumpkin’s Jail. Most don’t know about it at all but it is in Shockoe Bottom. (2/24) #RVA
I had a day date planned with my boyfriend at the time that involved walking all over #RVA. We had just left Church Hill Lookout and were walking down Broad Street. We were trying to decide at what point we would catch a Lyft home. (3/24)
I looked to my left and saw a green space in the midst of an abandoned parking lot. I stopped walking and looked around to figure out where we were. Right by I-95 and Main Street Station. #RVA (4/24)
We decided to go down and find out what it was. Turns out... this is the Devil’s Half Acre which was a slave jail. Please keep in mind, Richmond was the 2nd largest slave trading center. We were second only to New Orleans. (5/24) #RVA
There were 3 plaques with information about the site. About the atrocities committed there and the horrible conditions. Some things I have read about the site likened the jail to a chicken coop with people packed in without bathrooms and only 1 window. (6/24) #RVA
There is a house on a trailer there that didn’t have much information. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was supposed to represent. I literally asked my boyfriend “what is that?” We both shrugged. (7/24) #RVA
I clearly remember us observing the nails and construction of the house to determine if it was a replica or a restoration. While the plaques did a great job providing some information, the buildings that stood there were destroyed by 1876. (8/24) #RVA
Richmond Iron Works was built over the location and since then it has been covered by I-95 and a VCU parking lot. Excavation started on the site didn’t start until the mid-2000s. (9/24) #RVA
While it was painful to go there and see a place where humans were treated so horrendously, a lot of the pain and sorrow I felt was because of how covered and buried this history has been. To think of how people’s history of their families has been literally (10/24) #RVA
paved over by development time and time again hurt. The level of disrespect it takes to not recognize a meaningful historical site in the years after the way speaks volumes to the prevalence of white supremacy and racism that prevailed after the Civil War. (11/24) #RVA
Remember, after the fall of Nazi Germany, American soldiers forced Germans to visit the concentration camps. Dachau concentration camp was 3 mile from Dachau city center and 17 miles from Munich. People lived in houses across the street from Dachau. (12/24) #RVA
In contrast, the Devil’s Half Acre is 1 mile from the Virginia State Capitol that was built in the 1780s and used as the Capitol of the Confederacy. The history of slavery was torn down and paved over. (13/24) #RVA
In May 2017, I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in Poland. When I arrived, I was part of a tour group and we started at the entrance that looks exactly like our history books taught us with a sign above that said “work shall set you free.” (14/24) #RVA
Our guide reminded us over and over and over again that we needed to be respectful because the entire grounds are a cemetery. The Nazis ran out of places to put the cremains of the people they killed so they used them to fill potholes and dumped them out in rivers. (15/24) #RVA
Our guide told countless stories about how prisoners at these camps did not have the RIGHT to LIVE. If they weren’t able to work, they lost their RIGHT to breathe and were killed. (16/24) #RVA
Where there weren’t buildings still standing, we saw the vast expanse of the foundations that have been preserved. Knowing there were hundreds of people crammed into each place where there is a chimney gives the sense of magnitude. (17/24) #RVA
We were shown belongings that were taken from people. There was an entire case of HUMAN HAIR piled high. Nazis bused human hair to line their uniforms in winter. (18/24) #RVA
We saw where people slept 5+ to each bunk. Even the last one on the floor. It was May and I was wearing a coat. Can you imagine being so weak you can’t fight for a higher bunk so you’re resigned to sleep on the ground in the middle of winter in Poland? (19/24) #RVA
We were told about the experimentation with Zyklon B in gas chambers to kill people. Zyklon B’s original purpose was sanitation of clothes and surfaces. We saw standing cells only a few feet wide up to 4 people were held in for days as punishment. (20/24) #RVA
We saw ovens where people were burned. We saw the train tracks that brought people in. We were told multiple times of the horrific intentional extermination of minorities. The Nazis didn’t see them as people. They were less than animals. (21/24) #RVA
There was one place the Nazis tried to get rid of: the main death chamber. The ruins have been preserved and a monument depicting the systemic assembly line of murder was placed nearby. (22/24) #RVA
After visiting Auschwitz, I didn’t speak for 2 days. It took weeks before I told my friends and family what I saw. Over a year later, recalling the experience makes me nauseas and brings me to tears. When people try to correlate the preservation of history of (23/24) #RVA
the Holocaust to slavery... they are wrong. The South decided to intentionally hide the reality and replace it it with a palatable revisionist version so white people could feel comfortable and at ease. Germany did the opposite. (24/24) #RVA

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More from @RVAdirt

Oct 8, 2018
WOW! Tomorrow is #RVACouncil. Did you almost forget? I did. Whew. Time flies.

Well let’s take a little look at this week’s agenda! #RVA 🧜🏻‍♀️
Citizen Comment has 1 person signed up. Eric will be speaking about the city’s neglect.

#RVACouncil 🧜🏻‍♀️
Board Appointments and Reappointments include a people being appointed to the Sister City’s Commission, Advisory Task Force for the Economic Revitalization of South Richmond, and Human Rights Commission.

#RVACouncil 🧜🏻‍♀️
Read 26 tweets
Aug 27, 2018
I remember sitting in geometry class in 2005 and the kid in front of me had a “heritage not hate” shirt on depicting 4 “confederate heroes.” One of the “heroes” was Nathan Bedford Forrest. I tapped him on the shoulder and asked if he knew who Forrest was. (1/6)
He had no clue. I politely informed him of Forrest’s role within the KKK. He said “yeah? so?” and turned back around. This was a school that was extremely racially diverse; however, many of the white students would come to school flying confederate flags in their truck. (2/6)
I also remember that same year standing in the cafeteria before school and a black student bumped into a white student. She apologized but the white student still called her the n-word. Naturally, a fight broke out. (3/6)
Read 16 tweets
Aug 20, 2018
Tonight! #RPSBoard meets at 6PM in #RVACouncil chambers on the 2nd floor of city hall! Packed agenda with lots of interesting information. Some of the documents to be reviewed included in this thread. #RVA 🧜🏻‍♀️
The final Strategic Plan will be proposed to #RPSBoard. Of note is this document is only the final actions, not the goals.

Priorities 1, 2, and 3 are found in this tweet. 🧜🏻‍♀️
Strategic Plan priorities 4 and 5 are found in this tweet. #RPSBoard 🧜🏻‍♀️
Read 13 tweets
Aug 14, 2018
I want to pause really quick to be sure that I am crystal clear about my sentiments about media. Despite feeling like as individuals, we are community activists, I recognize the outward perception is that we are media who reports and often perception is reality. (1/14)
As such, I take a lot of the criticism about media to heart and instead of taking it personally, I use it as a reality check of my own behaviors and tendencies. I hope others do the same because there are so many individual reporters that I love and respect. Especially (2/14)
locally here in Richmond. Please take criticisms as an opportunity to be and do better. A lot of the criticisms I have read come down to providing basic respect. Unfortunately, giving respect doesn’t always lend itself to the best headlines in a world of soundbite news. (3/14)
Read 14 tweets
Aug 7, 2018
Tonight at 10PM EST @frontlinepbs and @ProPublica are debuting a documentary that focuses on some of the people behind the events that took place in Charlottesville last August. I am going to live tweet some of the content while it airs on this thread.

It sounds like this documentary may have some good information; however, it may be impossible for many people to watch which is why I have decided to do a tweet thread to disseminate relevant information without the images.
This is the thread I am going to use for it so if you don’t want this content on your timeline, you can mute this thread now. To mute a thread, in the upper righthand corner, there is a triangle. Click it. Select “mute this conversation.” Here is a video instruction.
Read 66 tweets
Jul 25, 2018
In the name of accountability and transparency, #RVAMayor @LevarStoney, can you and your Police Chief clarify the @RichmondPolice press release today regarding the completion of the #MarcusDavidPeters investigation and what you and Durham have committed. #HelpNotDeath (1/14)
In this press release, it is stated that Durham will host a discussion AFTER the CA’s office reviews the report. Durham also states that the promised community meeting is to explain and educate.

Will this be a discussion or lecture? (2/14) #HelpNotDeath #MarcusDavidPeters
A lecture doesn’t seem to meet the family’s demand for Durham and Stoney to attend a community meeting to discuss police, procedures, and accountability. Durham’s statement sounds like an informational session about curriculum. (3/14)
#HelpNotDeath #MarcusDavidPeters
Read 15 tweets

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