Memorial to the Enslaved at W&M

Type: Competition

 

accept 

acknowledge 

admit 

air 

bring to light 

concede 

dig up 

divulge 

expose

inform

lay bare

make known

make public 

open to view

reveal 

unearth

This competition entry for a Memorial to the African American People Enslaved at William & Mary is an excavation bringing light to the foundations of the south side of the Wren Building and the college. The act of exposing the foundations reveals the heinousness of chattel slavery to those buried in the vaults below this wing of Wren and to the living above.  One enters the memorial via a ramp or stairs adjacent to the foundations of  Wren and William & Mary.  The wall which cuts the earth is to be constructed of polished stone panels with the names of the enslaved set in Optima type.  The names of slave owners are noted at the bottom and beneath those whom they dominated in life. The smooth surface of the memorial reflects the image of the observer and reflects the brick facade of the Wren building behind the names of the enslaved. Most of the enslaved had only one name, many are only identified as male or female. From the south,  the upward projection of the wall is edged by a landscaped berm, planted with African grasses.  Bricks, fixed in concrete, signify the enslaved people’s role in the creation of  William & Mary. 

“There is not a man beneath

the canopy of Heaven who 

does not know that 

slavery is wrong...” 

 

                         Frederick Douglass

 

"Where Slavery is there 

Liberty cannot be; 

and where Liberty is there 

Slavery cannot be.”

 

                            Abraham Lincoln

 

Related Projects