Our AAHGS Nashville meeting today featured a rousing presentation by Brigette Jones, Director of African American Studies for the Belle Meade Plantation Museum.
In her talk, Ms. Jones not only gave us an accounting of the lives of the enslaved population at the plantation but also drew stark parallels between the situations faced by those individuals in the past and the situations faced by African Americans throughout the course of time since slavery and on up to present day.
Ms. Jones shared for us the stories of some of the known enslaved individuals and their contributions to the plantation, including:
- Ben – who ran away in 1818
- Ned – Ben’s replacement, who also ran away in 1818
- Susana McGavock Carter – a house servant for the Harding family
- Bob Green – head hostler (in charge of the horses)
It was a fascinating talk and if you’d like to learn more, you will definitely want to attend the Journey to Jubilee tour and get an in-depth perspective of what life was like those enslaved at Belle Meade. Thank you, Ms. Jones, for sharing their stories with us today and challenging us to reflect on the difficult intergenerational effects of slavery.
Relevant resources for today’s talk include:
- Fisk Slave Narratives – project started in 1929 collected by Fisk University’s Charles S. Johnson and Ophelia Settles Egypt
- Sussana McGavock Carter
- Bob Green post on the Journey to Jubilee page