, 20 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
As a German who has lived in the US, I continue to be struck by how little deliberate effort has been made in the US to come to terms with a violent past, especially as this past has seamlessly morphed into a violent present (THREAD) /1 #BlackHistoryMonth #Northam
On the contrary, plantations, which should be sites of education and remembrance, continue to be wedding destinations, offer hotel packages and fancy meals. /2 #BlackHistoryMonth
Looking for a special Valentine's Day Meal? Come to Oak Alley Plantation, a "folksy spot for Cajun eats & mint juleps." /3 #BlackHistoryMonth
Or how about a weekend away at Poche Plantation, a "relaxed lodging with a pool and a lounge?" /4 #BlackHistoryMonth
And why not get married at Magnolia Plantations, with its "historic lush gardens and a zoo"? /5 #BlackHistoryMonth
Can you imagine a concentration camp in Germany luring visitors with their craft cappuccinos? Because (thank God) I can't. /6 #BlackHistoryMonth
To be fair, some plantations have begun to incorporate slavery into their tours and educational programs. But on the whole, this was done very late, and is not nearly as central as it should be. /7 #BlackHistoryMonth
The only plantation with slavery as its central focus is @WhitPlantation. It opened its doors in *2014. Let that sink in. /8 #BlackHistoryMonth
As late as 2015, visitors to Oak Alley Plantation reported plantation tour experiences with little or no mention of slavery. huffingtonpost.com/kelsey-minor/v… /9 #BlackHistoryMonth
The first and only memorial dedicated to the victims of slavery, lynching, and Jim Crow is the @eji_org's @MemPeaceJustice which opened its doors in April 2018.
April.
2018.
/10 #BlackHistoryMonth
And make no mistake, this is not an official government project, but a private, nonprofit organization initiative. The official US apology for slavery and Jim Crow was issued in 2008. govtrack.us/congress/bills… /11 #BlackHistoryMonth
This amnesia is particularly atrocious in light of the level of brutality in the past, and in light of the continued impact of this history on black lives in the present. /12 #BlackHistoryMonth
First, take the sheer numbers: according to the Economic History Association, almost 4 million enslaved people lived in the US South by 1860. The @eji_org estimated that 4400 lynchings of black people in the United States occurred between 1877 and 1950. /13 #BlackHistoryMonth
Lynchings occurred at least once per week between 1870 and 1920; in the 1890s there were on average 3 lynchings per week. /14 #BlackHistoryMonth
Perhaps even more haunting is the scale of brutality: victims were disemboweled while still alive, dragged over burning coals, babies were cut out from women's bellies /15 #BlackHistoryMonth
The present-day casual side-by side of sites of violence and celebration is all the more haunting because it, too, is continuous with the past: lynchings were spectacles, attended by the public, remembered through postcards /16 #BlackHistoryMonth
There is a straight line from this history to the present, from slavery and the Black Codes and Jim Crow and lynchings to the present day mass incarceration, disenfranchisement, and police brutality against black people /17 #BlackHIstoryMonth
Acknowledging this history is therefore not a theoretical possibility but a material necessity for black lives /18 #BlackHistoryMonth
"The scale of the terror and its consequences are incompatible with its place in public consciousness," writes Thomas Laqueur in his haunting article on the @MemPeaceJustice in @LRB. lrb.co.uk/v40/n19/thomas… /19 #BlackHistoryMonth
I couldn't agree more. /20 #BlackHistoryMonth
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