This So-Called Post-Post-Racial Life

September 25, 2009

Night and Day (Updated)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — pprscribe @ 2:37 pm

Great post at Sociological Images about the contrast in how Germany has chosen to remember Dachau as a historical site and the way that we in the US have chosen to remember Laura Plantation as a historical site:

Plantations were many other things, but they were also the engine of slavery.  It is this that should stand out as the most important thing about them. Concentration camps were many other things as well (e.g., a military training site, a daily job site for German soldiers, a factory producing goods, and a strategic part of the war effort), but we have absorbed the important lessons from them so thoroughly that it is difficult to even imagine what an alternative tour might look like. In contrast, one can visit the [Laura] Plantation and come away not really thinking about slavery at all, in favor of how pretty the china was and oooh did you smell that candle as we walked by? Delicious. I need a coke, you?

UPDATED: Please read the discussion in the original post. Also, I have corrected the name of the plantation, as well as provided a link to the website. Here is a sample:

Here is a story that records the gradual disintegration not only of one of Louisiana’s oldest dynasties but also reflects the loss of Louisiana’s native and long-dominant Creole way of life.  In classic storytelling format, the tour highlights the most critical times in this family’s lives; times and events that best exemplify how different the Louisiana Creole was from the Anglo-American and also how this family responded to the ever-encroaching Anglo world.  Coupled with their life stories, displays of life-sized figures of Laura’s family members, their portraits, photographs, weapons, clothing, heirlooms, furniture and business & personal papers all bring the visitor up close and face-to-face with 4 generations of these Creole personalities.

A 90-minute specialty tour, specific to slavery is also offered:

This 90-minute tour covers the institution, practice and effects of slavery as it happened to the inhabitants of this plantation and in Louisiana, from the beginnings of the colony and into the 20th Century.  Special emphasis is on the contributions of Louisiana’s enslaved majority to Louisiana culture and history.

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