Show Transcript
[BLANK_AUDIO] Hello, I'm Dana Blair, host of ESSENCE Live and presently we are at the Whitney Plantation here in Wallace, Louisiana. An extremely beautiful and historic plantation and I'm joined by Dr. Seck. How are you? I'm fine, and you? I'm very well, thank you. And you're gonna take us on a tour of the Whitney Plantation Share a little bit of the history with us, what is the significance of the Whitney Plantation? The Whitney Plantation is a sacred ground so many people suffered here. I will show you through the history of the plantation people who lived here and were enslaved who they were, where they come from, the contribution of these people not only to the building of wealth but also to the making of the culture and American identity at large. Can you ring that bell here? Can I? Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead. I'm not gonna break it am I? No no. Pull it. Again. It's a way to pay homage to the people who suffered here. But also to remind people that this was the clock on the plantation. Now we can go and see the Wall of Honor, and this is a place where we honor the memories of all the people who were enslaved on this plantation. On one side of the wall, we'll have people mostly born in Africa. On the other side, we have people mostly born in the United States. The slave codes Starting with the French was really harsh on the runaway slaves. You run away for a first time, they cut you. They would brand you on one shoulder with the fleur de lis, the old French flag, and then they cropped your ears, they cut your ears. Second offense they brand you on the second shoulder with the fleur de lis and then they cut your hamstring. You cut the muscle? Yeah, you cut it so you cannot run anymore. And if by any chance you crawl away again, they cut your head. It is the death sentence. So slavery was a very very violent institution. It was about a lot of pain inflicted to the flesh Of the enslaved people to tame them. This is a, [COUGH] Much larger memorial. Mm-hm. We call it the Gwendolyn Midlo Hall Allees. [MUSIC] This guy here, Mm-hm. He's being punished. And you see this is the master? Yes. Yeah? And who's holding the whip? A slave. A slave. It was a system of divide and conquer. That's why they say there was a lot of hatred between like the field hands and the domestics. Right. And the field hands and the slave drivers. But I'm telling you, in time of revolution, they all get together. This is what we call The Field of Angels. A memorial dedicated to children who died in slavery. In the middle of this field, we have a statue. It's about an angle with black and female features coming down on a plantation to take a dead baby to heaven. Everyday the people were taken to the field to work. Mm-hm. Even mothers with nursing babies. But you see here have Young ladies giving the breast to their children. Because they were allowed to get back to the quarters twice a day to give the breast to their children. Is that enough, just twice? No. This one is about the Middle Passage from Africa. You see these people are caught like in a vortex. Yes. You see hand sticking out wit shackles. They are drowning, asking for rescue that never came. And this one to the left, this is a celebration of freedom. This is so powerful. Yeah. [MUSIC] These two slave cabins, they are original to the grounds of the Whitney Plantation. And how old is this. I suspect that they date back to the early, early early 19th century. [MUSIC] I hate going in there. I'm not going in there. [MUSIC] [SOUND] It was my pleasure to Take you though this. Thank you very much. It is not a pleasant story, but we have to. We have to tell you. We have to tell the story of slavery. Yes, sir. Definitely. Thank you so much, Dr. Spot. This country will be greater. It has been already great. But it would be greater, if they decide to solve the problem of the African-Americans. They may tame the flesh, but they never were able to tame the spirit. It is not just about the history of pain inflicted to the enslaved people. It is also about their tremendous contribution to the culture. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO]

This Whitney Plantation Tour Puts an End to the “Well-Fed” Slave Myth

On this week's episode of 'ESSENCE Live' host Dana Blair takes a trip to Wallace, LA and visits the historic museum devoted to slavery.