Va. ballpark proposal stirs slave-trade memories

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A ballpark proposed in the slave-trading center of the former capital of the Confederacy has stirred opposition from African-Americans and others in Richmond.

They contend the city's Shockoe Bottom section is "sacred ground" and no place to play baseball.

Opponents heckled Mayor Dwight C. Jones in November when he outlined plans for the $200 million, stadium-centered economic development project in the city's oldest neighborhood.

By some estimates, more 300,000 men, women and children were jailed, bought and sold in the Bottom and shipped throughout the Southern states in the decades leading to the Civil War.

The stadium proposal has unleashed pent-up frustration among those who believe the city has literally buried that shameful chapter of its history.

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