Don Bussey 
Member since Nov 16, 2016



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Re: “Charleston can lead the country by getting its story straight

Of all the words written in this opinion piece, truer words were never spoken (or written in this case) than to ask that Charlestonians "speak our true history out loud [and remain] vigilant in doing so." The management of the Middleton Place Foundation applauds the writers passion and her insistence that everyone can, and should, get Charleston's "story straight." To this day there remain too many narratives that fail to acknowledge the painful legacy that slavery has left us.

With that said, there is a suggestion in this piece that a guide at Middleton Place made little mention of "what the life of a slave actually entailed." Or that the guide substituted the word "servant" for "slave." The author is even willing to wager that that was the case. But it's a bet that can't be won because, lets face it, she does not know, and is unlikely to know, what the guide said to that tourist.

What readers should know, however, is that the Middleton Place Foundation is deeply committed to telling the complete story of Middleton Place, and not just of the white Middletons whose wealth could not have been achieved without slave labor. At Middleton Place, the staff and volunteer guides speak our true history out loud every day. They do it, most notably, on the Beyond the Fields tour that goes into detail - often disturbing detail - of what the life of a slave was like. The exhibit in Eliza's House, the product of years of meticulous research on the enslaved people owned by Middletons across generations, brings these people back into the light from the dark recesses of their lost and tragic family history. The work at Middleton Place is ongoing in this regard - it will never stop. The goal of getting the story straight may never be fully achieved, but the effort will continue, not because forgiveness is sought, but because of a firm belief that a hopeful future relies upon learning from - and never forgetting - the past.

53 of 62 people like this.
Posted by Don Bussey on November 16, 2016 at 4:51 PM
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