Celebrating Black History Month and my 100th post

I’ve been working on this post for quite sometime now, and seeing as we are almost nearing the end of February, when America celebrates “Black History Month” I thought of speeding it up before the month came to an end.

When we lived in Texas, we visited Louisiana often.  I had always wanted to visit a plantation home and experience a swamp tour on some of our visits there, but we never quite made it.  However, this past Fall, some of our British friends were visiting parts of the USA and invited us to join them on the southern tour.  We were able to visit 2 plantation homes and of course a swamp tour was on the itinerary.  There was a lot to take in on the plantation homes, it truly gives you an idea of what life was like and takes you back in time.

Slavery in America began when the first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619.  Slavery was practiced throughout the American colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, and African-American slaves helped build the economic foundations of the new nation.

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The first home we visited was set on a Creole sugarcane plantation which sits on the west bank of the Mississippi River. This home differs from the plantations houses with the big white columns in front. Those are the American plantations homes that came after the Louisiana Purchase. The creole plantations were part of an older, very family oriented culture. One of the points of historical interest in this plantation is that the daughter, Laura, who the house is named after, wrote a story when she was older, that gives a good history of the times and society of these plantation families..  This guided tour also included a glimpse of some of the slave cabins.  Each slave cabin held two families and each had a chicken house and/or pigpen and vegetable garden just outside the cabin.  Let’s take a look at the outside of this grand home surrounded by majestic oaks and lush, beautiful gardens.

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Step inside the slave cabins.

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Onto the next plantation home called The Oak Alley Plantation.  With 28 three century old oak trees lining its entrance, Oak Alley is an exquisite reminder of a bygone era.  I was visualizing the movie “Gone with the Wind” being filmed here.  However, it was not.  An extremely hot and humid Louisiana day when we visited in September, so being greeted at the front entrance with mint juleps was a brief respite.  I couldn’t say no to this, to quench my thirst you know 🙂

IMG_5437Enjoy these next few pictures which in itself will tell a story.

IMG_5433The grand Oak Alley Plantation

There are cottages on the grounds where you can stay overnight with a southern breakfast the next day.  I’m told these are fairly popular and one best book in advance.

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IMG_5449These tours were hosted by staff in period costume, showing the opulence of the owners, a stark contrast to the lives of the slaves. The self-guided tour of the slave quarters included stories, artifacts, and pictures.

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I left the place feeling a bit sad and pensive leaving me with somber thoughts on the way back home.

I’d like to link my 100th post to our virtual party at Fiesta Friday where Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen and Zeba @ Food For The Soul are co-hosts.

 

 

72 comments

  1. Loretta,
    What a spellbinding post to say the least! I am glued to my chair here, reading each and every word and taking in the pictures. yet with all the vivid details in your post, I feel that I got a chance to visit these plantations.
    It does leave me a little sad to see what times were like for the underprivileged. New Orleans has been on our list of places to visit but we still have not made it there.
    Thanks for sharing your trip.

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    1. Sandhya, thanks for starting this chain of some very heart-rending and thought provoking responses. If you get a chance, do read some of the comments on this post from folks near and far. A stark reminder of our nation’s history not so long ago. Thanks for all your sweet comments as always, they truly inspire me. New Orleans is a wonderful city with just so much to see and do. These 2 plantations were about an hour out of New Orleans, between NO and Baton Rouge. Both were very well done from a tourist’s standpoint.

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  2. It is very sad when someone puts there value over that of another. I love history like this and the stories of those that became before us even though a lot of our history is harsh. I hope we can move forward with equalization of all people even though prejudice will probably always exist. Thank you for sharing Loretta and have a beautiful day.

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    1. Thank you Julie for sharing your thoughts and comments. If you get a chance, do read some of the comments on this post from folks near and far. A stark reminder of our nation’s history not so long ago. I thought it was an appropriate post to bring up for Black History month, I didn’t realize it would generate such thought-provoking and heart rending comments. I wish I had more time to truly study all that was displayed in the cabins, but we were sort of rushed towards the end and I wasn’t able to capture some of the self-guided stories and pictures. Thanks for visiting.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, always appreciate your visit. If you get a chance, do read some of the heart-rending and thought-provoking comments on this post from folks near and far. A stark reminder of our nation’s history not so long ago. Next up, another history lesson featuring India 🙂

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing this post and all of the photos. The contrast between the huge palatial homes and the huts really says it all doesn’t it?
    And that list of ‘slaves’ and their worth…I know it’s all part of the history but it’s still so upsetting. How dare people place a value on others like that?? And that poor lady who was listed as supposedly having ‘no redeeming qualities’ 😦
    I can completely understand how it must have been an emotional trip x

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    1. Thank you so much Elaine for stopping and sharing your thoughts with us on this contentious post. I wasn’t really going to put up the photo listing the slaves and their worth, but I felt like it would give us an idea of what it was all about. It has generated some interesting feedback. If you get a chance, do read some of the heart-rending and thought-provoking comments on this post from our blogger buddies near and far. A stark reminder of our nation’s history not so long ago.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I had always wanted to visit these plantation homes and learn more about them, so yes, much as it was pretty somber and melancholy, it really brought back history from that era. I did leave the place feeling pretty down in the dumps. Thanks for your thoughts, it has certainly generated some great feedback from bloggers near and far.

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  4. Beautifully written, Loretta. Thank you for sharing this important part of our nation’s history. Although it must be very upsetting to visit these sad places, I’m so glad that you were able to visit and share with us. ♡

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    1. Thank you Dawn. I felt pretty privileged to at last see some of these plantation homes that was surely a part of our nation’s history. It has generated some wonderful responses and feedback from fellow bloggers near and far. I thank you for your input.

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  5. Wonderful post to share during this month – the contrast between the two life-styles was extreme and putting a monetary value on a life was disgraceful…not a part of our history that we should be proud of…Let us hope that the prejudices that remain will somehow continue to be healed and that there can be harmony and friendship among all men & women – no matter what race, religion or life style…all lives matter. 🙂 🙂

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    1. Thank you Linda, very well put. All lives DO matter, there were parts of the visit in some of these slave cabins that did get me all choked up. How can they put a monetary value on a life is right? It was just all so sad. Thank you so much for giving us your thoughts and expressing them like you did. The post has generated some interesting feedback. If you get a chance, do read some of the heart-rending and thought-provoking comments on this post from our blogger buddies near and far. A stark reminder of our nation’s history not so long ago. Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Freda. Are you not in Louisana? I seemed to remember that somehow. Perhaps when your little one is a wee bit older, you’ll get an opportunity to visit some of these areas that place such an integral part of our history. The post has generated some amazing feedback from blogger buddies near and far. Thank you for yours 🙂

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  6. How fascinating! What an amazing trip. I just came across slaveryfootprint.org, a website to remind you that slavery is alive and well and an integral part of our own lives. By listing your possessions you get an idea of how many people who were involved in their production are probably being exploited in often slavery-like conditions. 75 in my case…and I am not surprised.

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    1. Thank you Ginger. It was something I had always wanted to do (visit a plantation home). It really was a stark and poignant reminder of our nation’s history. I did check out the website you mentioned. Wow! what an eye-opener that is. You’re absolutely right though, we sail through life not realizing that all our creature comforts are thanks to others who are exploited in these slave-like conditions. The last question was pretty blatant. But I get it. This post generated some great feedback. If you get a chance, do read some of the heart-rending and thought-provoking comments on this post from our blogger buddies near and far. Food for thought, thanks for chiming in your thoughts too.

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  7. Thank you Loretta for sharing this post. Your post has made me want to take a tour to Lousiana to see these settlements. I might do it in near future.
    Reading the post, especially the picture with price quote on the people, left goosebumps on my body.
    I would have left very sad and reflective.
    It just boils my blood whenever I come across slavery stories in any part of the world. I often think, what makes one race think themselves as “superior”..

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    1. Thanks Sonal. Yes, now that you’re in the south, you can definitely plan a trip there. I think your girls would be old enough to appreciate the history. When I read Ginger’s post (one above), she refers to a website that she’s been on before, I did the short survey and was amazed at how much we ourselves rely on so much from other parts of the world where even children work in slave-like conditions. This post has generated some interesting feedback. If you get a chance, do read some of the heart-rending and thought-provoking comments on here from our blogger buddies near and far. A stark reminder of our nation’s history not so long ago. As always, thanks for your input and thoughts Sonal.

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  8. This was a such a thoughtful and well-written post Loretta. It is the list of slaves that left the strongest impression on me. Seeing a monetary value placed next to the names and such a blatant judgment of their “worth” really drives home how horrible and degrading slavery is. We can’t forget these parts of the past, especially when there are still many inequalities today.

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    1. Thanks so much for that vote of encouragement on the post. Truly appreciate it. I think that list kind of threw everyone for a loop – such a stark and poignant reminder of our nation’s history. It has generated some interesting feedback. If you get a chance, do read some of the heart-rending and thought-provoking comments on this post from our blogger buddies near and far. A stark reminder of our nation’s history not so long ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Loretta, Thank you very much for this post. On TV, I heard some are complaining why there should be Black History Month, when there isn’t any history month for other races. Really?
    Probably the same characters who put a price on human worth. 150 years since emancipation, we are still talking about racism and human rights in this supposedly, the most advanced country. My heart aches.

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    1. Much appreciated Fae, thanks for your visit on this controversial topic. I did read too about the complaints that we don’t celebrate any other race nor dedicate an entire month to them. Heck, what are these folks griping about? It really is so hard to put it all together and think back on those times. The visit was a melancholy one, but one that got me researching more when I got back home. This post has generated some interesting feedback. If you get a chance, do read some of the heart-rending and thought-provoking comments on this post from our blogger buddies near and far. A stark reminder of our nation’s history not so long ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for taking us on this poignant tour Loretta. I have never toured a plantation. I appreciate that your focus was on the slave quarters and history rather than the grand plantation home. The sign with the value of the slaves with their names, duties and ages was chilling. No matter how much I read and know about this part of history, it never fails to move me, make me pause and reflect. Many days I don’t think we have evolved as human beings from this terrible period in history.

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    1. Thanks so much Johanne. No, I deliberately did not post pictures on those palatial homes, but rather concentrated on the slaves quarters. My post ended abruptly as I was pretty upset that we had to rush through after the second home. The self-guided tour of these huts had a wonderful display of artifacts, pictures and explanations of the lives of the slaves both indoors and those working in the fields. I was not able to take extra pictures as we were rushing for the bus. This post has generated some interesting feedback. If you get a chance, do read some of the heart-rending and thought-provoking comments on this post from our blogger buddies near and far. A stark reminder of our nation’s history not so long ago. Thanks for your visit Johanne, always happy to get your input and thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. thanks for sharing this – I did a tour of some of the mansions in the South years ago, and had forgotten – reading the descriptions of slaves and the price on their heads is heart breaking – as Loretta writes – it is good to remember our past and to remind ourselves, while criticising other nations that not too long ago many of our ancestors were involved in activities which we would not associate with our nations now…..in todays world of fear mongering and finger pointing it’s a sobering thought

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  12. It certainly was a different way of living and you did not need a big plantation to have slaves. I have a picture from Gene’s family with his 4 relatives (all seated) and 4 adult (slaves) and two small children behind them in front of a very modest home taken in the spring of 1900. An Uncle married a “southern belle” who inherited her family’s plantation in Georgia. She still has it and four of her family members have built fancy cabins on the land. A sister married a southerner from Mississippi and they also had blacks working the farm – not slaves of course. Great post Loretta – the last plantation I visited was in Nashville – horse farm and they had a winery – now that was fun 🙂

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    1. Wow, no kidding Judi. It would be interesting to hear stories and additional pictures related to that era wouldn’t it? Now, your Nashville trip sounded like one I would like. Thanks for stopping by and giving us your take on this post. Much appreciated.

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    1. Thank you Nandini. I’m glad you had the opportunity to see the pictures, I was completely blown away during the tour, but happy to have had a chance to see and learn a bit more about our history.

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  13. This is a beautiful and heart touching post Loretta. Some how it didn’t appear in my reader. I am glad I found it now. And even more that the unkind slave period has come to an end. Sadly history can’t be undone but fortunately we live in a much more civilised society. Thank you for sharing this part of black history with us.

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    1. I’m so glad you were able to catch this post then Ana. Sometimes the Reader plays up I know. Yes, it was quite a trip, sad and melancholy, but glad we got a chance to experience it all. Past, but not forgotten!

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  14. I went to visit a plantation in Louisiana many years ago. They show them so proudly but I agree with you there is a feeling of sadness knowing the history. This is a great post and congratulation on your 100th post! 🙂

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    1. Yes, that’s absolutely true isn’t it? There’s no forgetting about what really happened then. I did find it pretty disturbing, but definitely very informative. Thanks for the good wishes Petra, I hope to continue blogging as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.

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    1. Thanks Mary Frances, you’re absolutely right. It’s a history from our past that I’d rather not think of, but a stark reminder of what our history was about in those days.

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    1. Thank you very much Rahul. It was quite a poignant post and even as I recalled that trip from last summer, sad memories surfaced. It was a time that will remain etched in our memories forever. Thanks for your good wishes too. I’ve tried to reach your blog, but I’m not able to, is there a link to it?

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    1. Thanks Suzanne, thanks too for the good wishes and the kudos. I enjoyed sharing what I learned when we visited last summer. A time in our history that will be etched in our memories forever. Thank you for co-hosting 🙂

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  15. This is such a thought-provoking post. It’s amazing how much we can hurt other people and never realise how evil we were being. Like Elaine, I think that list of how much these “slaves” were worth is horrifying and incredibly sad.
    I think going to placing like this is a way to remind ourselves of how far we’ve come and how much we still need to do to improve. I went to the Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam and I’m still shivering when I think of how they lived. It’s eye-opening.

    However, a food question – what actually is juleps? I know it’s a drink but I don’t know anything beyond that!

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    1. Thank you Maggie, and welcome to my blog. I’m not sure we’ve met before, but thank you for stopping by and giving us all your thoughts and comments. I imagine those tunnels in Vietnam had the same gripping effect when you first saw them? Eye-opening indeed! Mint juleps – it is an alcoholic drink made of whiskey bourbon, crushed ice, water and mint, really really good 🙂 Off to check out your blog now and add you 🙂

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      1. I need to add you, too! I really like your blog and it’s been great meeting you as well. Yes, very eye-opening! Ah, that sounds delicious! Mint is just a fab flavour!

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  16. Amazing, thought-provoking post Loretta! Such a lot of history and a lot of lessons to be learnt. The difference between the owners’ palatial homes and the starkness of the slaves homes is shocking! Looks like a beautiful place to visit though 😊

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    1. Thank you Naina, so heartbreaking to read all of it and experience it first-hand (almost). When going through the homes, you can’t help but let your mind wander……if those walls could only speak. Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

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  17. thanks Loretta for this excellent post that sheds so much light about the dark lives of the black slaves who were meant to be at the mercy of the ‘privileged’. We do need to remind ourselves and our children about this history so that such classism is abolished forever from the world.

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    1. Thanks Indu. I was surprised to find that I had to approve your comment on this post? Not sure I’ve had that before unless someone is just visiting the blog for the first time. Wierd that! Yes, I do believe there’s so much to be learned from that period in our history, it was an eye-opener for sure. Thanks for visiting, I hope you’re doing well?

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