Filed Under:  Letter to the Editor, Opinion

Our ancestors had all the right stuff

4th December 2017   ·   0 Comments

This letter is in reference to an absolutely awesome experience I recently encountered, and can’t wait to share with everyone, especially my fellow African Americans. I went on a tour of the Whitney Plantation, the word plantation itself had me a little weary.

Weary of the expectations I was feeling at that time when the tour started our tour guide by the name of Ms. Cheryl, put me and kept me in awe!!! from start to finish. This tour put me through so many different emotions, that at the end of the day I felt educated, rejuvenated and proud of being a descendant of such a resiliently strong group of God’s people.

What started as somewhat anger and confusion ended up with so much positivity as seeing unity at its best. What was endured and done by our ancestors is not only a miracle, but it shows character beyond recognition and strength, courage and love. The world we now live in was made possible by the endurance of our forefathers. And yet we cannot seem to grasp all the positivity of their existence.

Well, that tour of the Whitney Plantation and that amazingly warm hearted and intelligent tour guide has given me a new perspective on my ancestors we call “slaves” other tours talk about the slaver, what he did and had or how well his land is, but at the Whitney, it tells the story of how the slaves played a major roll in all the slaver has did and made his land a legendary land mark.

At the Whitney, they talk of history not mentioned quite a bit. No the slaves were not educated but no means, by their bond was unbreakable, and they learned to unite and help each other. The way our forefathers spoke was something to see, they actually have quotes of many things they said back then at the Whitney – it’s quite unique. In fact, if you look at some of the text and some things said by the younger generation today you would think that it’s almost identical to the grammar used hundredths of years ago.

I humbly recommend this to all, especially my fellow African Americans, because the bondage back then was unavoidable and can make you feel so many emotions especially anger. But the bondage of today among us is why anger is still in our vocabulary and we must educate ourselves through the history of our forefathers and turn that anger into the strength our people are made of. Our Ancestors had all the right stuff to get us where we are today, and the Whitney Plantation tour is a great start. We owe it to ourselves and forefathers to keep on keeping on.

– Robert Mitchell

This article originally published in the December 4, 2017 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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