- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Opponents of a ballpark in a Richmond neighborhood where the city’s slave trading occurred are bringing in a descendant of the principal character in the movie “12 Years a Slave” to promote their cause.

Linsey Williams is scheduled to read Solomon Northrup’s account of his Shockoe Bottom experience on Thursday. Sponsors of her visit say she will speak at the site of the slave jail where he was held.

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.

In the years before the Civil War, the city’s slave-trading center was surpassed only by New Orleans. Estimates put the number of slaves traded through Richmond in the hundreds of thousands.

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