The Whitney Plantation uses art to honor slaves that toiled there and elsewhere across the United States. Video courtesy of The Whitney Plantation from UNISON LA on Vimeo.
When I visit a historic plantation or a city’s museum, I often see spaces -- such as slave cabins, outbuildings, or smaller exhibits -- that take on the task of interpreting slavery or free African-American communities. When I see this, I take a moment to appreciate the plantation or museum’s effort, and how far our nation has come in interpreting a narrative that, not too long ago, was invisible to the American public.
Though I appreciate these efforts, what intrigues and excites me is what the following five historic sites have done. They have flipped the traditional script and interpret their sites from the perspective of the enslaved or free African-American community. Moreover, they educate visitors about the struggles of African-Americans in both slavery and freedom and how this struggle influenced their culture.
Using different approaches, all of the five sites work to spark a dialogue that will lead to understanding and reconciliation. Take a look to see what I mean.... Read More →
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Jamesha Gibson is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She is passionate about using historic preservation as an avenue for underrepresented communities to share their unique stories. Jamesha also enjoys learning about other cultures through reading, art, language, dancing, and especially cuisine.