Feelings when visiting plantations

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major bill

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Captured enemy soldiers had been mistreated or even put to death for untold centuries. Should I feel the same when visiting Camp Douglas or Andersonville? Am I allowed to feel sad at these places?
 

hanna260

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More knowledgable people will need to correct me if I'm wrong, but the concept of race based slavery as opposed to religious or ethnic slavery or slavery through captures of war was also pretty unique to the African slave trade as well. That's part of what made it so devastating over generations in addition to what @CW Watch Collector added above
.
 

gem

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I wasn't going to comment on this thread, but I look at Plantations as graveyards, places of torture, bondage, pain and hate.

The were also places ultimately of liberation. Also , many people see the war as atonement for the sins of slavery.
 

Greywolf

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It was 150+ years ago, a different time. My Grandparents, parents, and myself did not own slaves, nor would i want to. I certainly don't go to battlefields and plantations to feel guilty and beat my chest in anguish, nor will i ever. I enjoy studying the past, not to relive a guilt trip.
 

Dedej

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The were also places ultimately of liberation. Also , many people see the war as atonement for the sins of slavery.
I have never heard that. Sure, they were finally "liberated" -- but viewing their place of torture and bondage as a place of liberation. That is not a view I have ever heard.

I can't speak for other Black people - but I don't see the war as atonement. I'm sorry.
 

Patrick H

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Slavery is still practiced in the world. However, that is an issue that is related, but apart, from the theme of the thread.

Just go onto a former plantation and get into the quarters if you can. See how it makes you feel. Don't let anyone tell you how you ought to feel. Just go and soak it in and find out for yourself. It is quite an educational experience. No matter how it strikes you personally, you will find it to be an educational experience.
 

hanna260

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I don't think anyone is suggesting that everyone who shows up at plantations needs to have a guilt complex, but I do think that slavery was a part of plantation homes that needs to be acknowledged. No one is saying that anyone is required to feel anything. I think it's more a discussion of incorporation than anything else, since, historically I don't know if plantation homes have always done a great job of that.
 

Dedej

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I don't think anyone is suggesting that everyone who shows up at plantations needs to have a guilt complex, but I do think that slavery was a part of plantation homes that needs to be acknowledged. No one is saying that anyone is required to feel anything. I think it's more a discussion of incorporation than anything else, since, historically I don't know if plantation homes have always done a great job of that.
Thank you Hanna.

For some reason, I think people think guilt is expected or wanted from them. But, no. Respect and mindfulness is what I would ask.

Also, putting oneself in their shoes - you don't have to have owned anyone or have a history of owning anyone to do so -- it's call being a human and having empathy for others.
 

hanna260

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Thank you Hanna.

For some reason, I think people think guilt is expected or wanted from them. But, no. Respect and mindfulness is what I would ask.

Also, putting oneself in their shoes - you don't have to have owed anyone or have a history of owning anyone to day -- it's call being a human and having empathy for others.
Can't like this enough. :smile:
 

Patrick H

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Thank you Hanna.

For some reason, I think people think guilt is expected or wanted from them. But, no. Respect and mindfulness is what I would ask.

Also, putting oneself in their shoes - you don't have to have owed anyone or have a history of owning anyone to day -- it's call being a human and having empathy for others.
Nicely said!
I hope those who are able will just go find out for themselves. They will all have different sorts of reactions, but they will have an experience that they can only gain from DOING it.
 

damYankee

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Not sure what that has to do with Plantations and what the enslaved went through in America. But, please know Chattel Slavery was nothing like other forms.


Different types of Enslavement/Slavery

African Slavery (enslavement by African Countries/Kingdoms/Tribes): enslaved people were not treated as chattel slaves and were given certain rights in a system similar to indentured servitude elsewhere in the world.

Slave practices in Africa were used during different periods to justify specific forms of European engagement with the peoples of Africa. Eighteenth century writers in Europe claimed that slavery in Africa was quite brutal in order to justify the Atlantic slave trade. Later writers used similar arguments to justify intervention and eventual colonization by European powers to end slavery in Africa. "The Study of Slavery in Africa". The Journal of African History. Martin A. Klein


---

"The slaves in Africa, I suppose, are nearly in the proportion of three to one to the freemen. They claim no reward for their services except food and clothing, and are treated with kindness or severity, according to the good or bad disposition of their masters. Custom, however, has established certain rules with regard to the treatment of slaves, which it is thought dishonourable to violate. Thus the domestic slaves, or such as are born in a man’s own house, are treated with more lenity than those which are purchased with money. ... But these restrictions on the power of the master extend not to the care of prisoners taken in war, nor to that of slaves purchased with money. All these unfortunate beings are considered as strangers and foreigners, who have no right to the protection of the law, and may be treated with severity, or sold to a stranger, according to the pleasure of their owners."

Travels in the Interior of Africa, Mungo Park, Travels in the Interior of Africa v. II, Chapter XXII – War and Slavery.

Upon slavery Mr Robins remarked that it was not what people in England thought it to be. It means, as continually found in this part of Africa, belonging to a family group-there is no compulsory labour, the owner and the slave work together, eat the like food, wear the like clothing and sleep in the same huts. Some slaves have more wives than their masters. It gives protection to the slaves and everything necessary for their subsistence- food and clothing. A free man is worse off than a slave; he cannot claim his food from anyone.

Differences from Chattel Slavery in America:

- In sub-Saharan Africa, the slave relationships were often complex, with rights and freedoms given to individuals held in slavery and restrictions on sale and treatment by their masters.

- The forms of slavery in Africa were closely related to kinship structures.

- In many African communities, where land could not be owned, enslavement of individuals was used as a means to increase the influence a person had and expand connections. This made slaves a permanent part of a master's lineage and the children of slaves could become closely connected with the larger family ties.

- Children of slaves born into families could be integrated into the master's kinship group and rise to prominent positions within society, even to the level of chief in some instances. However, stigma often remained attached and there could be strict separations between slave members of a kinship group and those related to the master.

- Kinship structures and rights provided to slaves (*except those captured in war) appears to have limited the scope of slave trading before the start of the Arab slave trade and the Atlantic slave trade.

*Note: The bolded is very important - as many of these Africans - were selling war captures. In Africa - tribes and kingdoms is the ONLY thing that mattered - SKIN COLOR means nothing. Being an African - or sharing skincolor is mute. So, therefore - they were selling/trading enemies for goods, weapons, etc. But, even then - they (Africans) did not know that Chattel Slavery would be the form of enslavement they were selling them (war capture/prisoners) into - as they did not practice Chattel slavery in West African tribes/kingdoms.

- The enslaved were not killed brutally beaten, whipped, raped, gifted, owned for life, treated less than based off of race/skin-color, looked at as property over being a human.

-----

Islamic/Muslim/Arab Slavery (Islamic Enslavement): Dealt more so with the enslavement of African women and children. Very complex -- but religion-based.

Some differences that always stood out to me are:

- The majority of the enslaved were women and children. They were used as domestics and concubines. Arabs generally avoided adult African males and did not see them as desirable commodities. Prior to the Trans Atlantic, males would usually be killed rather than enslaved.

- The enslaved were for sexual exploitation as concubines, in harems, and for military service. They were not used for agriculture nor were the enslaved held on plantations.

- The enslaved were comparable to the enslaved of Roman times. They were seen as enslaved people -- not as fundamentally different as far as mental abilities, race or human qualities.
I agree completely. The complexity of the topic of slavery in the US is and will always be the racial aspect.
Please explore the many links on the website I posted as it explores the many aspect of the slave trade as practiced here.
 

archieclement

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I don't feel anything other then the opportunity to take in some history, but I grew up playing in a slave cemetery sometimes as a kid (didn't know what it was at the time) so its not something unique to me I guess
 

JerseyBart

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It's not pleasant and pretty, but so long as the story is told honestly, plantations are part of our history and can be learned from.
 
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Joshism

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Most of history is about one group exploiting another and if one is into history, then one has to accept that.
I don't care for that narrative. For one thing it's usually used by people pushing white guilt. But also I think that if history boils down to exploitation then the only rational course of action is to advocate for the extinction of the entire human race for being inherently evil. At the very least it means history should be a depressing subject not worth studying.

I agree exploitation is part of history, but not what history is about.


Should I feel the same when visiting Camp Douglas or Andersonville? Am I allowed to feel sad at these places?
Why wouldn't you be?

For some reason, I think people think guilt is expected or wanted from them.
People of certain modern political-philosophical mindsets do expect and want guilt. Fortunately, I think we have few, if any, of them on CWT. I have met such folks in person before and seen books written by their ilk.
 
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