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Historian Goes Underground To Shed Light On Richmond's Role In Slave Trade

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Untold RVA's tour guide, historian Free Egunfemi, sits inside Sweet Tea's Southern Cuisine, a restaurant with a history in the Underground Railroad.

When Donald Trump won the presidential election, he made a pledge to every citizen: that he would be president for all Americans. In the weeks before Trump's inauguration, we're going to hear about some of the communities that make up this nation, from the people who know them best, in our series Finding America.

Historian Free Egunfemi worries that the history of the black community in Richmond, Va., is getting lost.

"When people come to Richmond, it really feels like a hipster haven. The first thing you see is a lot of restaurants, you see a lot of social entrepreneurships, you see a lot of boutiques," Egunfemi says. "But I don't want people that look like me to be forgotten in the midst of that."

It's easy enough to find monuments celebrating Confederate history in Richmond. It's harder to find evidence of Richmond's role in the country's slave trade — unless you go underground.

Egunfemi explores the basement of a local restaurant that she believes was used in the Underground Railroad.

Use the audio link above to hear the full story.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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