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'12 Years a Slave' figure's descendants join rally

Friday - 4/4/2014, 10:34am  ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Descendants of the principal character in the movie "12 Years a Slave" attended a rally by opponents of a proposed baseball stadium in a Richmond neighborhood that once was a major slave trading hub.

Linsey Williams and Justin Dixon Northup Gilliam are the great-great-great-great grandchildren of Solomon Northup. At Thursday's rally, they read from their ancestor's account of his experience at the Shockoe Bottom slave jail where he was held in 1841.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports ( ) that the rally was timed to coincide with the 149th anniversary of Liberation Day, when Richmond fell to Union troops.

Mayor Dwight Jones has proposed a stadium-anchored development in Richmond's oldest neighborhood. He says it will make the Bottom a destination and honor the neighborhood's slave-trading past.


Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch,

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