Delores McQuinn, a descendant of enslaved African Americans in Virginia, has been a vocal advocate for Black community rights, reproductive rights for women, and economic advancement in marginalized societies.
She was elected to the Virginia General Assembly in 2009 to represent the 70th district, and she has used her influence to give voice to distressed communities and demand equal pay for equal work.
McQuinn, a local minister and community leader, has been at the forefront of raising significant funds to support pro-choice Democratic women. According to Emily’s List, she has so far raised $500 million to support such endeavors, making her a strong pillar for women in politics.
Richmond, Virginia, where Delegate Delores served on the City Council Slave Trail Commission for years, is the largest slave-receiving center in the United States. Its bleak history is linked to Shockoe Bottom, which was feared by an enslaved person who was sent there due to the treatment at jails, gallows, and auction houses.
The presence of the Lumpkin Jail and other slave jail sites where the enslaved were sold to other buyers was revealed by an archaeological discovery in 2008. According to Richmond magazine, the Lumpkin Jail was once known as the Devil’s half acre due to its dehumanizing conditions and tendency to strip the essence of dignity from any slave.
The swampy environment had a psychological impact on the slaves, and the torturing regime in place could break even the toughest slave. Following its discovery, Delegate Delores has been a driving force behind the establishment of a slavery museum on the site.
She was the driving force behind the creation of the Richmond Slave Trail, which takes descendants of America’s enslaved and other Africans on a tour of Manchester Docks and local slave trading sites. As the Richmond City Council Slave Trail Commission followed up on leads at Shockoe Bottom, it learned of slaveholder atrocities and the relics they left behind.
The enslaved people brought to Shockoe Bottom were subjected to horrific pain and torture, according to historical records. It is fueled by slaveholder greed and has turned the place into a sanctuary where people come to remember their ancestors and pray for their departed souls.
Because of the Richmond community’s role in the slave trade, this reality inspired the idea of erecting the historical site. There is hope of learning more about the businesses in the city that benefited from the slave trade, including the widespread use of hundreds of thousands of enslaved people as domestic slaves.
Against this backdrop, Delegate Delores pledged to raise $200 million for the construction of a slavery museum to honor the memory of the hundreds of thousands of slaves who endured the horror and barbaric treatment at Richmond City.
Delegate Delores stated that there is a large market and a desire among the people to learn about and understand their ancestors’ experiences as slave owners. That is why many tourists visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. to learn about black history.