Lupita Nyong’o has immersed herself in another role involving slavery, and this time it is not for a film. The 12 Years A Slave star was personally contacted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Richmond, Virginia, to help prevent the city from building a stadium atop Shockoe Bottom’s slave-trading center. It is in this neighborhood that an estimated 300,000 men, women and children were jailed and sold into slavery years leading up to the Civil War.
Nyong’o has taken to social media to rally the support of her followers. She posted via Instagram:
“So they want to build a baseball stadium over the archeological remains of slavery at #ShockoeBottom. Now, I like stadiums but not when they sit atop a people’s heritage! Let’s #SaveShockoe by letting Mayor Dwight Jones and Richmond’s city council know that we’d very much like to keep the evidence of this history.”
This actress’ connection to the neighborhood is still rather fresh since filming 12 Years A Slave where Shockoe Bottom jail happened to be the place Solomon Northup, whose life the film is based upon, was initially held when he was kidnapped and sold into slavery.
Nyong’o has gone beyond social media and taken action by penning a letter of appeal to the city’s Mayor Dwight C. Jones and has encouraged her followers to do the same. Jones has responded by inviting Nyong’o to Shockoe Bottom and reviewing it’s plans to preserve it’s history.
If you are interested in fighting to #SaveShockoe visit www.savingplaces.org.