Boone Hall Plantation is in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Most of you have seen the Avenue of antebellum live oaks leading up to the plantation house - they’re some of the most photographed trees in America, long-lived southern icons.
Fewer of you have seen these dwellings, just a few feet away from the celebrated ancient oaks. Nine original slave cabins. A sobering reminder of an unimaginable past. A place where it doesn’t feel right to smile - even as crystalline days bring warm breezes soughing through the Spanish moss. You approach the brick cabins, the fertile scent of humus hangs thick in the air and the tinny sound of regrettable interpretive recordings breaks the somber silence.
An opportunity to learn? An opportunity to appreciate how slavery blossomed into the Gullah culture which has conveniently been re-purposed into culinary festivals and co-opted to help market these towns in modern times?
For me, it was just another reminder of human cruelty and our lingering tolerance for the infliction of vile acts upon fellow members of our own species…American history.