NC Plantation's 'But How Did Emancipation Hurt White People?' Juneteenth Event Canceled
Times are hard for historical plantations. No one wants to have their weddings at them anymore (at least not if they plan on running for office), as it is now considered unseemly to toss the bouquet in front of a row of slave cabins. It seems like it took a little long for that to be the case, but better late than never, we suppose.
In what appears to have been an attempt to get with the times, Latta Plantation in Huntersiville, North Carolina, planned an event for Juneteenth — the holiday celebrating June 19th, the day the last slaves were told they had been freed. You are probably thinking "Excuse me? A freaking plantation planning a Juneteenth event? That ... really does not seem like it would end well." And you would be right. It really did not. In fact it has been canceled entirely, following some very well-earned community outrage.
The event was to be titled "Kingdom Coming" and while the experiences of freed slaves would be considered, equal consideration was going to be given to feelings of the slave owners, the jobs of slave overseers and the plight of "white refugees" and Confederate soldiers coming home.
This morning Latta Plantation removed this Juneteenth event from their online calendar and Facebook page after FB c… https://t.co/AGO5gfeYqh— Ryan Pitkin (@Ryan Pitkin)1623421006.0
Swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home!
Come out to Historic Latta Plantation for a one-night event, Saturday June 19, 2021. You will hear stories fro the massa himself who is now living in the woods. Federal troops (Yankees) have him on the run and his former bondsmen have occupied his home and are now living high on the hog. Hear how they feel about being freedmen. The overseer is now out of a job. What will he do now that he has no one to over see from can see to can't see? White refugees have been displaced and have a story to tell as well. Confederate soldiers who will be heading home express their feelings about the downfall of the confederacy.
I am honestly quite speechless here. That is a very explicit centering of white feelings. How long did it take them to land on "But what about the white slave overseer who lost his job? What about his feelings?"
And bondsmen? Really? Like they can't even bring themselves to say slaves?
Is this what Republicans want taught in schools when they talk about how they're scared that the children are going to be taught Critical Race Theory?
One thing that can be said of Latta Plantation is that they clearly know their audience. Had it actually happened, it would have been the exact kind of of presentation that the kind of people who would go to a plantation would be interested in seeing. They'd have to disguise themselves, of course. Perhaps some white bedsheets would be suitable?
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse