I shared last week a little about our trip to North Carolina (see that blog HERE) and I told you I'd be sharing what was the most impactful part of our whole trip with you.

It was the last day before we flew back home and we were living our last day to the fullest. We'd spent time downtown Charlotte talking to people and seeing the beauty of the city. 

We then venturing to the outskirts, by just twenty minutes, to a beautiful, historical place, The Latta Plantation... Plantation, I've never been to one. We've been studying American History in school and I have recently read Harriett Tubman's biography and so this was a part of our trip I was really looking forward to, as well as dreading.

Part of what my dream is in travel is learning. I want to learn more and for my children to learn about other people, places, and experiences, that they themselves have not experienced. To deepen their knowledge, empathy, and humbleness that there is so much more than just our neck of the woods.

We drove through green, leafy forest, to a beautiful plantation home waiting to be explored. The main house of the plantation was closed due to covid, but everything else was open to see. A carriage house, outbuildings, and... a slave cabin.
The main house.

I absolutely knew that this was an integral part of all plantations and I felt the depth of it even as I entered that beautiful historic place. The first "slave house" we saw was labeled "The kitchen" and stood directly behind the main house. It was up off the ground, plank flooring, and small, but reasonable sized. I stood inside of it briefly and asked my daughters to "Feel the weight of it for a moment, a slave lived and worked here".

Off the the edge of the cleared property was the overseers house and in the farthest corner, just beyond that, the slave cabin. We went into the overseers cabin and looked around. The cabin stood up on a stone foundation (I assume for flooding from the rain), strong floorboards, decent size, with a brick chimney.
The overseers cabin (right) and the slave cabin (left)

My chest is tightening even while I type these words remembering what happened next. After leaving the overseers cabin, I walked to the next cabin, I then went around the back of the slave cabin. It was significantly smaller than the overseers and it's chimney was made out of sticks and mud... Have you ever even heard of a thing!?  My family went ahead of me, one daughter behind.

I came around the side of the slave cabin and saw the open hole which was the window, walked to the open door, and got to the threshold, looked inside a that tiny, dirt floored, hovel with slave artifacts and a picture of slavery planted directly in the middle and I recoiled! 

Apparently, I told my daughter, that was behind me, that I it made me feel sick... I don't remember saying that I just remember saying I couldn't go in. I had gotten to the entrance of that slave cabin and felt like I got hit by a wall of pure evil. I was physically shaken and dashed behind the slave cabin tears burning in my eyes instantly. My heart was racing and I wanted to sob.

I hid there while my family wondered around a while. When they finally came back and my husband came to me and gave me a hug, the tears that were already there, fell in waves. I clutched his middle and SOBBED with the pain of the people that had once lived, worked, and died here. The men, women, and children that had suffered, been tortured, oppressed, and demeaned in this place. The mothers and fathers who were unable to protect their children from beating, the mothers forced to leave their nursing babies to go work in the fields. The oppression of these beautiful, God-created people shook me to the core.

"Is mom okay?" My girls asked and I sat there sobbing.

My husband's understanding and gracious response: "Mom feels people."

That was so true!

I FELT their pain and it was AWFUL. I have no other descriptions for it, just awful. I spoke through my tears to my husband of the hurt of the slaves I was feeling. Of the difference between the dirt floored huts I'd seen in Africa, of FREE Africans, verses the African American slaves that were treated as animals, less than human, property. I don't know of something more wicked than that!

I walked away with a new perspective, new insight, and new understanding of our nations history and the history of the African American.

Sometimes feeling the agony and pain of what has happened, and still is today, is the best way to love. Sometimes simply hurting for those who hurt is what it means to love and learn, to make a difference.

Much love,


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