This is the second slave auction block I have visited, the other was in Fredericksburg, VA. I have photos of that on my other account...
From the HMDB:
Legend and narrative testimonies describe this stone as a slave auction block.
From the Page News & Courier, August 31, 1961: “This native sandstone block . . . which stood at the corner of Main and Court Streets at the Chamber of Commerce building . . . was used as a perch for slaves about to be sold at auction . . . The stone is said to be one of the few now in existence.”
It is similar to many which existed in the South prior to the Civil War.
As a part of everyday life, black men, women and children would be displayed and examined on slave blocks and sold for the highest bid. Family groups were frequently sold apart; husbands from wives, mothers from children, etc.
This block is an historic symbol of a dark past of man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man. It is also a symbol of how far we have come in learning to respect its victims and in resolving to go forward into the future with mutual respect and understanding.