It’s been a busy several years in usually quiet Buckingham County.

In Virginia’s rural and mostly Black community of Union Hill, the people who—not so long ago—staved off a massive natural gas pipeline’s polluting compressor station proposed on the same land their ancestors were enslaved, now live in the state’s first Freedmen-built community to receive eligibility for nomination for historic landmark status as a rural historic district.

In a unanimous decision to recognize this community’s immense historic value to the county and state, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources cited the “ground-breaking,” “novel” research methods used, based on researchers’ door-to-door household study, oral narratives, and archival research, which uncovered family heritage, hundreds of unmarked slave burial grounds, and plantation records of enslavement.

Read the full story at Southern Environmental Law Center. Article posted February 1, 2021

Photo: Richard Walker and Lakshmi Fjord on Harper family ancestral land and Transco Pipeline easement close to the site of the now cancelled Buckingham compressor station. Photo by Heidi Dhivya Berthoud December 28, 2018

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