On April 3, 2019, the Virginians for Reconciliation hosted the descendants of Dred Scott and Roger B. Taney for a day-long visit and programs as an early event in their year long recognition of the 400th year anniversary (1619 -2019) of the first Africans who arrived in Virginia in 1619.
The reconciliation committee, lead by former Governor Bob McDonnell, was formed in 2018 to support racial healing through conversation and policy changes.
The day included a visit to the Capital Building and the State House, where Lynne Jackson (Dred Scott) and Charlie Taney (Chief Justice Roger B. Taney) visited and addressed many of the legislative groups. They were recognized in the General Assembly along with former Governor Bob McDonnell by Presiding Officer of the Senate Justin Fairfax, Delegate Delores McQuinn, Speaker Kirk Cox and introduced and bios read by Delegate Roslyn C. Tyler.
Pastor Sylvester Turner and Rev. Ben Campbell took the entourage to the Richmond Slave Trail. At this site, the enslaved disembarked from the long voyage from Africa and began another most difficult journey.
A somber visit to Lumpkin’s Jail revealed an underground holding facility for enslaved persons that was confirmed by archaeologists in 2005. It was covered over and will soon become a part of a museum. While in office, former Gov. McDonnell appropriated $11,000,000 for the of the construction of the site renovation.
Amid several interviews with CBN, NPR, a Virginia Union University student reporter, Jackson and Taney were assisted by Attorney Paul Hedges, acting ED for VFR, Lynne Ross, Legal Consultant and past ED for NAAG, Rhian Senseman, Executive Assistant, VFR and Keith Westbrook, Administrative Assistant to Delegate McQuinn. The group made their way to Virginia Union University where Lynne and Charlie spoke and shared their story of meeting, connecting, apology and forgiveness and interacted with the audience. Thank you to all who made this possible. A special thanks to former Governor Bob McDonnell and co-sponsors Virginians For Reconciliation., Virginia Union University and Virginia Commonwealth University. To watch the full program, click here.
Descendants of Dred Scott, Roger Taney attend reconciliation event at VUU (Richmond-Times Dispatch)
Descendants of racist Supreme Court decision pledge ‘truth-telling, forgiveness and redemption’ (Capital News Service)
Main Image: Lynne Jackson (left), a great-great-granddaughter of Dred Scott’s, and Charles Taney, a descendant of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney’s, spoke Wednesday at VUU. Photo taken by JAMES H. WALLACE/TIMES-DISPATCH