Abandoned Plantation Manor (Virginia)
I want to live in something like this so badly
When I was growing up I always wanted to live on a plantation. Something about drinking tea on the porch, a garden, hardwoods, open land, wide staircases, and a general “creepiness” just does it for me.
"Yeah man I always wanted to live in a house built on slavery, where slaves had been, where slaves had probably been abused, maybe even killed. Such a cool place. So romantic"
Oh my god. Chill the fuck out. We have nothing to do with that. None of us. Black, white, or otherwise. Nobody alive now was around then. It has nothing to do with us. What our ancestors fought over doesn’t have to mean us fighting the same fight.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let tell you a little something. I don’t always act proud of my Southern roots, but I am. This plantation most likely wasn’t on slavery, but slavery later brought to it. It was probably built for family, for protection, for beauty, for love, for glory. Plantations are a HUGE part of Southern history and we are very, very proud of our architecture.
Remember that horrible things happened everywhere. Every beautiful place has been marred by something horrific. That doesn’t make it any less beautiful. And it doesn’t mean that we can’t admire it…or turn it into something that represents beauty, family, protection, love, glory, etc.
If it was just any old mansion, said to be haunted by victims of some gruesome murder…would it still have that connotation for you? Would you think it was cool? Think about what you’re saying. Don’t take everything so cut and dry and don’t be so offended by things that don’t mean offense. There’s no need for people to be so defensive. This is becoming a problem.
What is wrong with this world? Instead of trying to destroy each other all the time, whether through words or physical actions, I wish we could just understand each other… Those people up there, who left comments about wanting to live in a plantation… They didn’t mean “Man, I’d like to live where black people were enslaved, beaten, tortured, belittled. That sounds really cool!” No, man! They were saying how beautiful the plantation is, how majestic, spooky, old, and downright cool it is!
Stop trying to make problems where problems don’t exist. Please. Isn’t there enough pain and suffering and fighting in this world already?
can I let this one slide? I’m so close…to….
The “none of us were alive” argument is outrageous - slavery and its effects are still felt today, hugely. People are still fighting the same fight. It’s a fight for equality, something which does not yet exist, and I fear something which I do not think may exist in our respective lifetimes. You yourself admit that plantations are a huge part of Southern History. Yes, they are. Even when slavery had been abolished (much to the majority of the South’s dismay), the civil war had been fought and all the rest, segregation was still in place. Those who had formerly worked on the plantations as slaves were paid next to nil to live in quasi slavery on enough to live but rarely enough to leave, maintaining their servitude under a white majority.
The architecture itself may well be beautiful, but the building is soaked in history; the floorboards, the walls, the earth surrounding it has been watered by the blood, sweat and tears of a people enslaved. Lest we forget the Native American population, cleansed from their land by European invaders seeking to create a new country under their own overseeing.
I am not creating a problem where a problem does not exist. I highlighted the incredibly problematic romanticising of architecture and landscape that ignores the history. You cannot remove these things from their social, historical or economic context. Here, all three tie in together. It is impossible to ignore that, and to cast such a legacy into oblivion for the mere aesthetics is to grossly misunderstand the world in which we live and to neatly avoid the entire debate which is still ongoing.
The majority of plantations were not built ‘for family, for protection, for beauty, for love, for glory’. They were built for single white families to lord over slaves, from whom they were protected by racist thugs wielding weapons and whips. For all the love this was built for, it was built upon and propped up by hatred. And as for the glory? The only glory in these buildings, their occupants and the land upon which they sat was the perverted glory of the Lord, bastardised by wealthy European-American settlers who used the Old Testament’s scripture as a perverse framework for their bigotry.