“Slave for a Day” Program Draws Controversy at Hampton Historic Site
Perhaps they were well-intended, but some are not taking lightly to a “slave for a day” program being held at the Hampton Historic site. The plan for the organization is to allow people to live and work as a slave, to see what it was like. Some have criticized the program, stating that it would not be sensitive to have a holocaust for a day program for Jews.
There are others who might disagree. The Irish Potato Famine is sometimes remembered with a walk that allows people to experience what the Irish went through during that difficult time. Millions died of starvation during the potato famine, so reenactments are seen as ways to remember what their ancestors went through.
Maybe that’s what the Hampton folks were actually trying to do. Here is part of a message we went sent from someone who is not happy about the reenactment, as well as the time and place that it is set to take place:
Slave for a Day at Hampton National Historic Site
535 Hampton Lane, Towson, MD 21286
Sunday, July 8, 2012 1 pm- 3:30 pm
First time ever at Hampton! Experience what it may have been like being enslaved. Work in the fields with actual hoes and scythes. Carry buckets of water with a yoke on your shoulders! Park Ranger Angela Roberts-Burton will be in period clothing telling tales of the enslaved who labored here.
If that was not enough, we are excited about ADACI (African Diaspora Ancestral Commemoration Institute) joining us. These gifted African drummers, spiritual advisors and spoken word artists will perform a ceremony to commemorate those who were enslaved at Hampton. An altar will be on display in the slave quarters to pay homage to those who were in bondage. You may bring names of your ancestors to be placed on the altar. Admission is free. Event is handicap accessible.
Please call or email Ranger Angela Burton at NPS and let her know that playing at being a ” Slave for a Day” belittles the pain, the misery, that slaves suffered. I am a Jew and couldn’t imagine a program ” Holocaust for a Day” nor would it ever be allowed. 443 742-2277 cell email Angela_Roberts-Burton@nps.gov
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