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West of the Boulevard

Rumors of War

Now that the dust has settled a few thoughts on the latest monument unveiling.

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“People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them”
-James Baldwin

I’ve been having trouble putting into words what was seen on the afternoon of December 10th. Every outlet had a word, RTD, Style, VPM, Washington Post, the BBC!?!? What more could be said? What more could be shown?

Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.
– James Baldwin

On the way to speak at the Arthur Ashe Boulevard dedication ceremony, Representative John Lewis (Alabama) encountered a familiar foe. Traffic. He would be late for the ceremony for his late friend. State Police would be needed to extract him from the gridlock and guide him down to Richmond.

“Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by those doing it”
-James Baldwin

When Representative Lewis spoke, I found myself on Arthur Ashe Boulevard hearing the words echo. He spoke of a man who showed up at his office, the same man who nearly beat him to death many decades ago. He spoke of forgiveness, how he embraced the man from love. He spoke of how only progress can come from love and understanding. Echoes of words, ripples of change

“It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”
-James Baldwin

December 10th was chilly, rainy, and glum. Around 1 PM, the shrouded Collousus rested, a soft glaze of rain glazed on the silver tarp, beading droplets that ran down to the base. Purple lights encircled, giving the covered Rumors an ethereal glow. The electricity was beginning to build.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced”
– James Baldwin

“I’ve heard word of protesters” whispers, from a friend… Nothing that I know of but that’s not something I follow. The crowd outside builds along the barriers created. Curiosity and the hungry gather to see a new history be made.

“I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”
-James Baldwin

After all the confusion and disorganization, everyone is in their place at 320, awaiting the speakers and the reveal. The VIPs settle in with ponchos and umbrellas yet the rain has stopped. The speakers trickle in. The fog of magic settles in. Looking behind, there are rows and rows and rows of the enrapt going past Arthur Ashe Boulevard.

“What I love in art is that it takes known combinations and reorders them in a way that sheds light on something that they have never seen before or allows to consider the world in a slightly different way.”
-Kehinde Wiley

The marching band of ALL Richmond public schools made their presence known. This is the generation that is on that horse!

Governor Northram spoke, as well as Mayor Stoney and many others. Nothing stood more proud than the ALL Richmond marching band! Kehinde speaks! Time to unveil! A hitch. The tarp is caught. Kehinde smiles

“Life’s messy, it’s perfect”
-Kehinde Wiley

The Fire Department had to come cut it down.

Representative John Lewis bows his head in laughter.

Unforced error. Point Progress.

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Is a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in Padow's bacon.

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Downtown

Governor Northam announces $25 million to transform historic sites, advance “historic justice efforts”

“These are not just investments in physical space, but in the telling of our shared history,” said Delegate Lamont Bagby. “These initiatives will help us continue the effort to uncover the truth of the past.  We must finally get this right.”

RVAHub Staff

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Governor Ralph Northam late last week announced that his proposed budget will include nearly $25 million to transform historic sites and advance historic justice efforts.

“These investments will ensure a more diverse and inclusive retelling of our history,” said Governor Northam. “At a time when our Commonwealth and nation are grappling with how to illustrate a more complete picture of the past, we must work to enhance our public spaces and shine light on previously untold stories.”

This investment will include nearly $11 million to support the efforts of transforming Monument Avenue. This funding will enable the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to hire staff and launch a community-driven effort to redesign Monument Avenue.

“For too long, Richmond’s Monument Avenue told an incomplete and inaccurate story of the city and Virginia’s past,” said Alex Nyerges, Director and CEO of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. “The funding to transform Monument Avenue will allow us to reenvision an inspirational, forward thinking, inclusive and healing place for everyone who lives in and visits our city and state.”

“On behalf of many neighbors – this news is exciting and hopeful. We welcome a future on Monument Avenue that includes a visual expression and experience that is welcoming and inspirational to all people,” said Monument Avenue resident Alice Massie.

Additionally, this investment includes an additional $9 million for the development of a Slavery and Freedom Heritage Site and improvements to the Slave Trail in Richmond as well as $100,000 to support the Virginia Emancipation and Freedom Monument project on Brown’s Island. This funding will support efforts to preserve the site known as the Devil’s Half-Acre, or Lumpkin’s Jail, in Shockoe Bottom as a historical site.

“Hundreds of thousands of enslaved persons were forced to pass through Lumpkin’s Jail on the Richmond Slave Trail,” said Delegate Delores McQuinn. “It is far past time to develop a new Slavery and Freedom Heritage Site at Lumpkin’s Jail and invest in improvements to the Slave Trail, so that this important history is not forgotten.”

“The Emancipation and Freedom Monument on Brown’s Island will commemorate the abolition of slavery and recognize numerous African American Virginians who were devoted to advancing freedom and civil rights,” said Senator Jennifer McClellan. “This funding will move this important project another step closer to becoming a reality.”

“This constitutes a massive investment in centering stories of trauma and resilience that have been sidelined by proponents of slavery, the Lost Cause, and segregation,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “The Commonwealth’s support is the tool we need to commemorate and communicate Richmond’s real history and honor unjustly silenced voices.”

This investment will also include $5 million to support Project Harmony, an environmental justice project to address the repatriation of tombstones from the former Columbian Harmony Cemetery and the creation of the Harmony Living Shoreline memorial. These headstones were removed from Columbian Harmony Cemetery––a historic African American cemetery in Washington, D.C.––and relocated in 1960 to make way for commercial development. While some headstones were moved to a new cemetery in Landover, Maryland, others were sold off by the developer, including those that were used to create a riprap along the shore of the Potomac River.

“I was horrified when I discovered the headstones from Columbian Harmony Cemetery scattered along two miles of shoreline on the Potomac. With the help of this funding, we will be able to return many of these to a better and more respectful resting place while creating a memorial to remember those that we are unable to remove,” said Senator Richard Stuart.

“These are not just investments in physical space, but in the telling of our shared history,” said Delegate Lamont Bagby. “These initiatives will help us continue the effort to uncover the truth of the past.  We must finally get this right.”

Governor Northam will address the Joint Money Committees today to share the full details of his budget plan.

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Community

The Carytown Holiday Artisan Market is at City Stadium this Weekend

Over 100 artists and farmers in a safe, outdoor environment at City Stadium… just a few blocks from Carytown. In addition to food trucks, we are pouring craft beer and wine, fresh coffee, and lotsa love!

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The last market of 2020 combines almost 100 artists and farmers for a 2 day holiday market on Dec 12th and 13th from 10-5pm.

This weekend we are excited to welcome Spring like weather and over 100 artists and farmers in a safe, outdoors environment at City Stadium… just a few blocks from Carytown. In addition to food trucks, we are pouring craft beer and wine, fresh coffee, and lotsa love!

The 2021 Season will run Sundays from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM starting May 5th through November 3rd.

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Business

New Publix supermarket opens its doors in Carytown

The new grocery store at Carytown Exchange is the fourth within a two-block radius and joins Kroger, The Fresh Market, and Ellwood Thompson’s.

RVAHub Staff

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From WTVR:

After years of anticipation, Publix supermarket will open its doors in Carytown Wednesday morning.

The 48,000 square feet grocery store, located at 3535 Ellwood Avenue, will celebrate its grand opening at 7 a.m.

The supermarket will anchor the new Carytown Exchange shopping center which will also feature free parking in a new two-story parking deck.

In December 2018, Publix signed a lease to anchor the Carytown Exchange shopping center, replacing the former Martin’s in the Richmond Shopping Center.

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