Steve Helber/AP via NPR

On a warm spring night, more than 150 people gathered in Shockoe Bottom, a name taken from the Native American word for a site in Richmond.

This part of town, bounded by I-95 and bisected by railroad lines, was central to a city that prospered from the slave trade.

"The best guesstimate is several hundred thousand people were sold out of Shockoe Bottom," says Phil Wilayto, a leader of the grassroots movement to establish a memorial park here. "Probably the majority of African-Americans today could trace some ancestry to this small piece of land."

Tale of Two Flags: Art Sparks Dialogue

Aug 7, 2015
Artist Sonya Clark

At the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, an exhibit called “Posing Beauty” is in its final week.The show features a piece by an African American depicting the confederate and American flags woven in African hair.

Each year, for over a decade, about 30,000 Virginia kids were bused to Richmond’s museum district for a visit to the Story of Virginia, an exhibit featuring the usual portraits and artifacts.  Last year, the Virginia Historical Society closed the show and began a $20 million renovation, creating a modern new museum and a whole new experience for those interested in Virginia’s past. 

As more wineries are opening in Virginia grape production in the state is not keeping pace…and with many Commonwealth counties looking to replace obsolete courthouses issues of historic preservation may create complications. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on www.vpap.org.

Chincoteague Pony Swim Celebrates 90 Years

Jul 22, 2015

This month marks the 90th year the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company's Saltwater Cowboys run their annual pony swim. The wild ponies, whose Spanish lineage dates back centuries, are moved from Assateague and Chincoteague Islands, to the fire company's carnival grounds where a selection of foals are auctioned off. But unless there's a fire, rounding up cowboys is sometimes more difficult than ponies.

At a booth to the entrance to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, park ranger Naomi Belton collects park fees and gives directions to the best places to see them.