Leonard Pitts Jr. on White People Visiting Southern Plantations

In his latest article, Leonard Pitts Jr. discusses “white fragility;” a term coined by sociologist Robin DiAngelo to explain why white people sometimes find it hard to discuss race and how the subject tends to make them angry and defensive.

As August 20th marks the 400th year anniversary since the first ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia, Pitts addressed how some white people reacted to touring Southern plantations.

Pitts cites articles from both the Washington Post and The Root that focused on people becoming angry or frustrated after the tours because the guides or curators focused a lot on slavery, part of the US’ ugly past.

One tourist claimed that he was subjected to lectures meant to “instill guilt.” While another tourist simply stated, “Would not recommend.”

Some other tourist complained that “brief mentions of the former owners were defamatory” after he learned a white man fathered several children by a black woman, his slave. “Once the babies reached one or two years of age, ‘master’ would sell them and it would ‘break the mother’s heart.'”

She ended up killing one of her babies because she could no longer take ‘master’ separating her children from her.

I have posted several links below that when you can, please take a look at them. Remember August 20th, 2019, marks the 400th anniversary since the first slave ship arrived.

From the New York Times Magazine, The 1619 Project

Dear Disgruntled White Plantation Visitors, Sit Down.

Michael Twitty, the author of the article posted above is also a chef who has mastered the early cuisine of his colonial and Antebellum ancestors.

For over a decade I have been working towards my personal goal of being the first Black chef in 150 years to master the cooking traditions of my colonial and Antebellum ancestors. Five trips to six West African nations and more on the way, and having cooked in almost every former slaveholding state beneath the Mason-Dixon line, my work is constant, unrelenting mostly because I have to carve my way through a forest of stereotypes and misunderstandings to bring our heritage to life. I also just want to preserve the roots of our cooking before they’re gone.

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