Nova Muhlenberg-Bonnett’s Aug. 26 Local Opinions essay, “Something is missing in Old Town,” gave an incomplete picture of Alexandria’s efforts to tell its history. Alexandria has taken significant steps to tell its history, including the unconscionable slave trade that took place here, and to honor the important role of the African American community in our city.
The essay noted the need for a historical marker at the former Bruin’s Slave Jail. Such a marker, ordered months ago, will be put in place this month. There has been considerable effort to make certain that the historical information is accurate. This is one of numerous efforts to tell the important story of African Americans in Alexandria. There is a historical marker at our Barrett Branch Library commemorating the prescient library sit-in of 1939. The city has placed numerous historical markers commemorating African American history. This year, the city entered into a partnership with the Northern Virginia Urban League to manage and promote the Freedom House Museum at the site of the notorious Franklin and Armfield slave-trading business. Alexandria has its own Black History Museum, the African American Heritage Park, the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial, a historical display about African Americans in our community at the Charles Houston Recreation Center and the interpretive planning to recognize the significant African American community at Fort Ward Park.
Our city and citizens work to tell the full story of Alexandria’s role in the history of our nation, including that tainted by the inhumanity of slavery.
Allison Silberberg, Alexandria
The writer, a Democrat, is mayor of Alexandria.