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Mecklenburg County Cuts Ties With Historic Latta Plantation Following Tone Deaf Slave Owner-Centered ‘Stories From Massa’ JUNETEENTH Event

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Historic Latta Plantation shared event details to a JUNETEENTH event that folks were NOT feeling. In the announcement, the planned event promised an event highlighting the experiences of white slaveholders and Confederate soldiers. And get this….

The site manager is a black man. Deets on Mecklenburg County cutting ties with the historic house inside…

Historic Latta Plantation has lost its contract with Mecklenburg County in North Carolina after a controversial JUNETEENTH event announcement.

We can’t even make this stuff up. Apparently, the folks who work for the historic house thought it was a good idea to create an event for the black holiday celebrated this Saturday, June 19th called “Kingdom Come” where guests would “hear stories from the massa himself who is now living in the woods.” WHET?!

Chile…audacity.

“What will he do now that he has no one to oversee from can see to can’t see?” the event description asked in the description, using an idiom to reference the punishing hours that Black enslaved people were made to work. “White refugees have been displaced and have a story to tell as well.”

We’re not surprised “they” took a holiday to celebrate the freedom of slaves into something that would praise them.

Peep the full event announcement below:

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We just can’t. And neither could their Facebook fans.

Once the historic house posted the JUNETEENTH event, they were bombarded with backlash. Eventually, they deleted the post.

Then….

 

 

Site Manager Ian Campbell – who created the event – issued a statement regarding the “Kingdom Coming,” which….yeah. Just read some of what he said below:

I, Ian Campbell, as an American man of African descent and the new site manager at Historic Latta Plantation, will lift the veil of ignorance. Under my leadership, the Latta staff will assist in this educational endeavor. With the little information that we have about Latta Plantation, also known as Riverside, the stories of those enslaved as well as freedmen will be told. This new narrative will also include the stories of other enslaved men, women, and children on many other plantations in the United States. It will also include the stories of those enslaved and free before, during, and after the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican American War, the American Civil War and Reconstruction.

For decades Historic Latta Plantation has been focused on two time periods in American history, the American Revolution and the Civil War. That is changing, Latta will now focus on the period of reconstruction as well. Most people have forgotten about this period in our American history. Most educators as well as most of the general public skip this section and move on to the 1900’s or the civil rights movement. Many of the racial issues that we face today are linked to slavery and reconstruction. Just recently, for the first time in their lives, many people just acquired knowledge of the Tulsa Race Massacre. History is not just about one-time period or one group of people. The program “Kingdom Coming” was created by myself, with the help of others. I, Ian Campbell, Site Manager of Historic Latta Plantation take full responsibility for its content entirely! To the masses on social media and politicians, no apology will be given for bringing a unique program to educate the public about former slaves becoming FREE!

However, freedom didn’t come in 1865 when General Gordon Grainger announced General Order Number 3 in Galveston, Texas. Many enslaved people began to steal themselves away when the abhorrent practice of slavery was brought to the Americas. As Union troops occupied the south and plantations early in the war, freedom came for many of the enslaved before Juneteenth, this included cities such as New Orleans and plantations on both sides of the mighty Mississippi. Many people complained about Historic Latta not doing anything for Juneteenth. Then when I create a unique event to highlight our successful struggle out of slavery, there is backlash from many who have never visited our historical site. William T. Sherman had a dislike for the media of his day.

I understand what he may have been going through. I by no means will let this deter me and the vision of lifting the veil of ignorance. The event was canceled due to security concerns for volunteers and staff. The media’s corps of yellow journalist had a perfect opportunity to educate, however, they chose to whip the public into a frenzy, it worked. “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Rahm Emanuel. In regards to social media, Chief Justice John Roberts said “in our age, social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale.”

It was not until after the social media frenzy that Latta received numerous emails and phone calls about the event. I also received a phone call from Vi Lyles, the mayor of Charlotte. As long as I have been at Historic Latta Plantation as a volunteer, then as a part-time employee, then as the education coordinator, then as the interpretive farm manager, then as site manager, I have never seen Vi Lyles, the Mayor of the great city of Charlotte visit our site or any other influential and prominent government officials. The same applies to NPR, WBTV, the Charlotte observer et al. This applies to some of those citizens in the community that have been offended. Your opinions and concerns have been respectfully noted. However, after reading this, many of you will still be offended, some will be supportive, thank you.

In closing, my job will be to continue to educate. Historic Latta Plantation’s narrative will be to give a voice to our ancestors enslaved and as freedmen who were denied a voice. We will speak for them in a compassionate, accurate, and sensitive manner.

Unique?  Mk sir. If you think being irresponsible is ok as long as it’s “unique” just say that. 

You can read the full letter here, if you care.

 

 

Mecklenburg County commissioners announced the county will not renew its contract with Historic Latta Plantation. WCNC reports:

At Tuesday’s county commissioners’ meeting, Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Director Lee Jones said he sent a letter to Historic Latta Plantation, Inc., telling them they would not be renewing their annual contract when it expires on June 30.

The contract has been renewed each year since the 1970s.

“We have zero tolerance for programs that do not embrace equity and diversity,” Jones said.

Jones told the board that Latta Plantation, Inc. was supposed to tell Parks and Recreation about programs at least six weeks ahead of time by contract. The county even reached out to the nonprofit to ask if there were any additional programs added that they didn’t already know about, Jones added.

The county was never told about the event, Jones said.

 

 

Mayor Vi Lyles tweeted that the plantation should have known better:

 

 

A damn mess.

Tell us your JUNETEENTH plans in the comments! 

BONUS:

 

 

The bill to make JUNETEENTH a national holiday has passed the Senate, after it was introduced in 2020 by then Senator Kamala Harris. The House should also pass it soon. Woot!

Photo: Latta Plantation’s FB

Written by: theybf

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