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Advocates working to restore historic island near Petersburg

Advocates working to restore historic island near Petersburg
Posted at 5:50 PM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 17:50:17-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- A group of advocates is working to restore the site of one of the first African American communities in the United States.

“It’s just so much opportunity that they are missing," said Quan Muhammad, who heads up the Petersburg Group known as M.O.V.E. which stands for Motivating Other Voices Everywhere.

He's working to make a dream of his a reality.

“It’s so much stuff that can be done here," said Muhammad.

Muhammad is referring to Pocahontas Island.

“We want to bring light to what this is, there’s much history here that’s not being acknowledged," Muhammad said.

He said that the island holds a unique history for the United States.

“With it being the First African American Community in the United States," Muhammad said.

Quan Muhammad wants to be brought back what’s missing on the Island

“We did have a playground down there, we had one back in the day and it was taken away from us," said Rose Kelley.

Rose Kelley runs a daycare on Pocahontas Island and has grandkids. She is passionate about building a space dedicated to children on the island.

“We are in need of a playground, we don’t have nowhere for the kids to go," Kelley said.

Kelley said that as of now, most kids who visit relatives on the island end up at her house.

“They come to my house and play in my yard because they have no playground to go to," Kelley said.

Along with a playground, Quan wants to refurbish and add on to the basketball court to make it more inviting for kids and adults to go fishing along the Appomattox River.

“It’s not accessible really for the community," Muhammad said.

A GoFundMe has been started to try and make these dreams a reality.

“Please contribute, we’re in need of one," Kelley said.

For Quan Muhammad, a playground would do more than just be a place to play but a place to learn

“What I’m trying to do is bring the history out of Pocahontas, so everybody can come into Pocahontas," Muhammad said.