HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Race & Ethnicity » African American (Group) » "I used to lead tour...

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 09:52 PM

"I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery."

More: http://www.vox.com/2015/6/29/8847385/what-i-learned-from-leading-tours-about-slavery-at-a-plantation

Up until a few weeks ago, I worked at a historic site in the South that included an old house and a nearby plantation. My job was to lead tours and tell guests about the people who made plantations possible: the slaves.

The site I worked at most frequently had more than 100 enslaved workers associated with it— 27 people serving the household alone, outnumbering the home's three white residents by a factor of nine. Yet many guests who visited the house and took the tour reacted with hostility to hearing a presentation that focused more on the slaves than on the owners.

The first time it happened, I had just finished a tour of the home. People were filing out of their seats, and one man stayed behind to talk to me. He said, "Listen, I just wanted to say that dragging all this slavery stuff up again is bringing down America."

I started to protest, but he interrupted me. "You didn't know. You're young. But America is the greatest country in the world, and these people out there, they'd do anything to make America less great." He was loud and confusing, and I was 22 years old and he seemed like a million feet tall.

17 replies, 2057 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply "I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery." (Original post)
Jamaal510 Jun 2015 OP
dlwickham Jun 2015 #1
dflprincess Jun 2015 #2
Jamaal510 Jul 2015 #9
dflprincess Jul 2015 #10
bluestateguy Jun 2015 #3
Number23 Jun 2015 #4
randys1 Jul 2015 #11
Number23 Jul 2015 #12
randys1 Jul 2015 #13
Number23 Jul 2015 #14
randys1 Jul 2015 #15
1StrongBlackMan Jul 2015 #17
Number23 Jun 2015 #5
SusanCalvin Jun 2015 #7
SusanCalvin Jun 2015 #6
AuntPatsy Jun 2015 #8
Hekate Jul 2015 #16

Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 09:57 PM

1. are people just misinformed or ignorant about the issue of slavery in the US

or are they getting all their history lessons from Gone With the Wind?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 10:02 PM

2. Have you seen the "Ask a Slave" videos

They were done by Azie Dungey who portrayed a slave at Mount Vernon. Funny - in an eye rolling kind of way - but painful

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dflprincess (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 01:27 AM

9. I saw a few

episodes before. One time, I wondered if the people who were asking those questions to her were for real or just actors.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jamaal510 (Reply #9)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 08:40 PM

10. Hard to say

I believe they are questions she was asked while playing the part at Mount Vernon but they may have used actors in the videos to reenact it all.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 10:06 PM

3. Back in the 80's

My parents and I toured a plantation in Louisiana. The old bag who ran the tour looked like she stepped out of a United Daughters of the Confederacy brochure.

There was not a word about the slaves, not a whit. It was an hour long love fest of the wonderful virtues of the family that owned the plantation. When someone in the tour group gently asked about the slaves (this family, I later learned, owned over 150 slaves at a given time), the tour guide looked annoyed, and brushed aside the question:

"I don't know, I think they slept in a cabin out there."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 10:12 PM

4. K&R This is how alot of crap gets construed that black people are "overly sensitive" and that our

issues are "distractions."

Because at the end of the day, most white people simply have NO IDEA what slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, housing discrimination, discrepancies in prison sentencing, employment discrimination etc. etc. etc. did to black people and how they affect us today. And it's because this stuff is DELIBERATELY kept out of the schools and history books.

If the true horrors that black folks have faced and often STILL face were common knowledge, alot of white people would have to take long, DEEP looks at themselves, their own lives, their own biases and their own privileges. And Lord knows, we can't have that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Number23 (Reply #4)

Thu Jul 2, 2015, 10:51 AM

11. And I hear that you are also full of shit when you say a given candidate doesnt address

your needs.

Happened again today, poster was run off who supports AfAm community.

Wow, need badly to find a liberal board to post on

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randys1 (Reply #11)

Thu Jul 2, 2015, 05:16 PM

12. I kid you not, I have gotten damn near a dozen PMs JUST THIS WEEK from long time DUers

Last edited Thu Jul 2, 2015, 05:48 PM - Edit history (1)

who are desperate to find another board.

I'm going to edit this because I don't think it's right to use a web site to tout another.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Number23 (Reply #12)

Thu Jul 2, 2015, 05:18 PM

13. Wonkette? I would pay to have a board created, if someone knew how to do it and if we

had a base of people to draw from

where exactly on Wonkette? (found it)

This probably isnt right to talk about in the open, I do not blame Skinner for what is happening here

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randys1 (Reply #13)

Thu Jul 2, 2015, 05:54 PM

14. I edited my response because I agree that we shouldn't use one board to tout another

But I do think that the admins are to blame for what's happening here. They have been so deliberately hands off and have done nothing while the libertarians have taken over.

There was a time that the admins used to post as much as everyone else. How often does Skinner even touch these boards now? I see questions in AtA backed up for WEEKS. I do think that their inattentiveness is what's lead to this board's demise but in all honesty, I think that they are as horrified and disgusted by it as everyone else.

As for your post in that other thread, I didn't want to kick that incredibly stupid, moronic OP again so I'll post my response here. But I reiterate that the Sanders campaign is lucky to have you. Truth be told, on alot of issues I also believe that Sanders is the best candidate, hands down. But his decision to not address specific issues -- I've gotten PMs from female voters astonished that he's in Wisonconsin right now and hasn't said a word about the attacks on abortion rights -- is a huge turn off for me. His "supporters" here make that turn off even bigger.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Number23 (Reply #14)

Thu Jul 2, 2015, 06:01 PM

15. I gotta admit I dont get it. WE both know the guy is a hippie dem socialist liberal, and I know

this for a fact.

That he does support Women and Minorities, I believe that for sure

So WHY is he ignoring these issues, if he is, I am assuming this

When I say hippie dem soc lib I am saying that cuz that is what I am.

And it is why I know I can trust him, it is why I will work to convince you that you can trust him, but I need his help.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to randys1 (Reply #15)

Fri Jul 3, 2015, 11:47 AM

17. I suspect, we know the answer ...

 

That he does support Women and Minorities, I believe that for sure

So WHY is he ignoring these issues, if he is, I am assuming this


He and his team of advisors have made the political calculation that the economic justice/topple the oligarchy message is bigger and will be more effective at getting the "working class" (read: white males) vote. Talking about issues that affect women and other minorities, exclusively, is distracting and divisive . And, they are betting that capturing this segment of the electorate will more than compensate for the votes lost by playing those issues short.

Now ... do I think a Bernie Presidency would be bad for women and/or "minorities"? ... No. Though, my fear is that his focus on economics will leave little time/resources for anything else.

(But I'm told that's okay ... because, alternately, without economic justice and toppling the oligarchy nothing else matters; and/or, economic justice will make everything else better.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 10:14 PM

5. #3 is the best in the bunch

One important branch of this phenomenon was guests huffily bringing up every disadvantaged group of white people under the sun — the Irish, the Polish, the Jews, indentured servants, regular servants, poor people, white women, Baptists, Catholics, modern-day wage workers, whomever — and say something like, "Well, you know they had it almost as bad as/just as bad as/much worse than slaves did." Within the context of a tour or other interpretation, this behavior had the effect of temporarily pulling sympathy and focus away from African Americans and putting it on whites.

See it ALL THE TIME.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Number23 (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 10:32 PM

7. Here's the difference.

One can't necessarily (or even usually) discern those groups by sight. Many people of color, yes one can. Women (generally), yes one can. I offer this observation for what one considers it to be worth.

Just to be clear, I mean this as support of the post to which I am replying. Not that it needs it. Just my $.02.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 10:21 PM

6. Hiding the truth is bad.

Period.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Jun 30, 2015, 11:36 PM

8. I toured one in LA, the guide was interesting, she gave credit to all for the running of the

Plantation but I would definitely say she tried hard putting owners up high on the pedestal, I recall how she stressed the lady of the house worked tirelessly from dusk to dawn, she did give high credit to the hard work of the slaves in running it but you get the feeling she knew she walked a thin line trying to honor the owners...very informational and she did talk about the book written by the man illegally sold into slavery, she reccomended it saying it offered truth as well...

All in all I would have liked to finish tour but my other half was ready to go early (sigh)



http://www.frogmoreplantation.com/default.asp

This was the one we stopped at....it is heartbreaking to know what actually occurred so very often, I remember when Roots came out, after the initial shock, many white people began how else to explain it, almost a deliberate diversion tactic used to white wash the horror of humans actually treating other humans in such a manner by altering the narrative....

It's why racism still survives so wide spread today..

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Fri Jul 3, 2015, 03:57 AM

16. I toured one in Florida that was being run by the Park Service. No hoop skirts in sight.

The women who gave the tour and ran the book store wore tan Park Service uniforms and gave a lot of information about the lives of the people who built and ran the plantation, i.e. the slaves.

I went with my friend who lives in Florida, otherwise I wouldn't have thought of doing it. At my age I think I would have tossed my lunch if we'd had to walk through a Gone With the Wind fantasy, but this was well done. I asked the guide, and she said that the tour used to be like that before they took over.

It was encouraging to know that times can change.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread