Public lecture on slave labor building UVA

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A public lecture at Charlottesville City Hall is talking about the people who build the University of Virginia. A large amount of that labor came from those who were enslaved.

The lecture is part of Unity Days, a series of free events sponsored by the city to engage residents to come together.

The enslaved people who built the classic buildings at UVA will be discussed by UVA architecture professor Louis Nelson. Part of the lecture will focus on the challenges of finding out just who they were.

He says both blacks and whites worked on the buildings.

"We have large numbers of enslaved people both skilled and unskilled, day laborers and highly-skilled craftsman who are working side by side together with free whites and overseers for the construction of the academical village," he said.

Nelson goes on to say the next step is finding out who they were.

"How do we do the hard work of recovering the identities and narratives and storylines of some of the people whose stories have never been told," Nelson asked.

Unity Days events will continue throughout the summer.

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