Yesha Callahan

Must See: John Cummings, Owner of the Only Slavery Museum in the Country, Explains Why America Still Struggles With Race

children of whitney high res

John Cummings, owner of The Whitney Plantation in rural Louisiana, says our nation still struggles with racism because we fail to deal with the root cause–slavery.

“You have two sides. Blacks are screaming prejudice to the white side, and the white side is looking and saying, ‘Why can’t they get over it?'” Cummings explained in a short documentary by the Atlantic.

“The Blacks don’t understand that the whites don’t know what ‘it’ is. We’re trying somehow, here, to define the it. Unless you know what the it is, don’t ask the question, ‘Why can’t they get over it?'”

Although he originally bought the Whitney Plantation as a real estate investment, Cummings has spent 16 years and about $8 million restoring the property and turning it into the nation’s only museum dedicated to the institution of slavery.

In 2000, Cummings hired Ibrahima Seck to be the museum’s director of research and helm the program that he hopes will finally educate the public on slavery. Because as Seck puts it: “The history of this country is rooted in slavery. If you don’t understand the source of the problem, how can you solve it?”

Take a look at the Atlantic’s eye-opening documentary on the Whitney Plantation.

  1. August 26, 2015 - Reply

    Thank you John Cummings and all others that helped to make this awakening happen.

  2. August 26, 2015 - Reply

    There is no way on Earth where racism can end in the world unless people know that America was founded on the genocide of the indigenous people of the Americas and the enslavement of black people. John Cummings has shown great historical facts as a reminder of what people need to know about the origin of our problems in the first place. What he has shown is American history. American history should not be sanitized in order to promote some politically correct propaganda of America. Many whites know about slavery and racism. Some of them just refuse to talk about it since they want to promote a narrative that black people must ignore slavery and integrate mentally into white supremacist mindsets. There are black people and people of numerous backgrounds who instead want black people to have justice.

    I am glad that John Cummings is showing great research on the vile history of slavery in America (slavery was an evil, planned system which treated our ancestors like cattle. Slavery dealt with racism and economic exploitation. The wealth of America was built on the backs of our ancestors literally. Also, black people rebelled throughout the Americas against slavery). Jewish people don’t get over the Holocaust and we, as black people, should never ignore slavery and the Maafa at all. Sometimes the truth will be uncomfortable and learning uncomfortable truths (along with fighting institutional oppression) can lead into solutions.

    • August 26, 2015 - Reply

      White people know about the genocide of the native people, but it was justified by saying it was god’s will. It was god’s will that africans was condemned to chattel slavery for 250 years. That is the narrative (god’s will) that bubbles beneath the surface in this reality we call white supremacy. All the heinous acts that this country has commited has been justified
      because of god’s will. This absolves white people of any guilt associated with those acts.

      • August 26, 2015 - Reply


        Racist white people consciously did these evils and it was bigger than some of them believing in the myth that it was God’s will to commit atrocities (though many of these racists did use a distortion of religion). It was about them having a false sense of superiority and creating the system of white supremacy as a way to carry out their atrocities. In other words, white racists wanted political power in conquest. The whites involved in these atrocities are not absolved of their abominations (I just want to make that clear). I did mention that some whites know about this history and still don’t care. Also, the system of white supremacy must end if justice is to be maintained in the world. Justice is to be made by black people having true freedom worldwide.

        • August 26, 2015 - Reply

          The reason why white people has a sense of superiority is bacause THEY believe the bible gives them dominion over the earth. THEY belive that their atrocities were absolved because it was god’ will. THEY believe they were acting as god’s agents. It doesn’t matter if YOU believe they were not absolved of their astrocities, THEY believe ther were. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what we believe, especially when another group has the power and weapons to enforce their beliefs on others.

          • August 26, 2015 - Reply


            Like I have said before, many white racists did use the Bible as a means to justify their crimes. Also, many of them didn’t. Many of them just killed people outright. White racists have a false sense of superiority because they voluntarily decide to try to use conquest for their own agenda. No one here denies that many racists use religion as a means to terrorize others (We know that many conquistadors and imperialists claimed to follow God’s will, they claimed to be acting as God’s agents etc. Just because they claimed these things, doesn’t mean that they were right. They were wrong obviously). What I do mention is that it is bigger than just about religion. It has to do with religion, economics, racial hatred, and a false superiority complex (that racist whites have then and now). That is my point. The system of white supremacy must end, so a real system of justice will exist.

            My other point is that there is nothing wrong with Black Unity, Black Power, and Black Love. I will forever believe in those concepts.

            • August 26, 2015 - Reply


              My brother, I have no idea what you just said. Religion(christianity) is the cornerstone of white supremacy (western civilization). THEIR god is better than yours and anyone else’s god. Capitalism is christianity. And again, THEY believe that their god absolved them from the atrocities they committed, and nothing will change their beliefs. Just like when a mormon visits you at 5:00 am to try and convince you to believe what they are selling,and you ain’t buying it. This is why you can’t have a conversation with white people about the sordid history of this country.

              • August 26, 2015 - Reply


                My points are very clear. My point is that the system of white supremacy is not just about religion. That’s my point. It is about economics, racist views, and other parts. Capitalism is an economic system. It has nothing to do with religion or spirituality. There are many Christians, Muslims, Jewish people, Buddhists, atheists, etc. who don’t support capitalism. True spirituality existed in Africa for thousands of years. There is a difference between white racists using false religions (like th white supremacist, Eurocentric version of Christianity) and true spirituality. Also, not all white racists are Christians, so that refutes your arguments there. I do believe that we have the right to have a discussion about slavery among black people. Yet, it is bigger than just religious deception. It is a system of economic exploitation and other evils.

                • August 27, 2015 - Reply


                  You just going to end the conversation just like that. Apparently you do not read very well, because I never said anything about you believing in mormonism. You mentioned a lot of subjects that was not relevant to anything I mentioned, which you are very good at doing. But, thats OK, have a good night.

                • August 27, 2015 - Reply


                  the christian bible was/is used to justify black chattel slavery and the continued condemnation, denigration and degradation of black people to this day through the so-called curse of canaan, which later became the curse of ham. the dark skin became associated with that so-called curse whether myth or truth.
                  scientific data was then created and manipulated to prove that black people were inferior, which further supported the myth, or truth, of the so-called curse of ham.
                  i believe black chattel slavery created white supremacy in this country based on the myth, or truth, of christianity and the bible.

                  • August 27, 2015 - Reply


                    Evil people used the Bible to justify slavery, the degradation of black people, and other evils (via the story of Canaan and Ham). No one here denies that. It is a myth to assume that skin color of blackness came to Ham since the first humans are black. I spread know that white racists have manipulated data in trying to justify their hate. The curse of Ham idea is a total myth. I believe that the Maafa was created by white supremacists using religion, racism, capitalism, and other methods at their disposals.

                    • August 27, 2015 - Reply


                      there is no argument — canaan and ham was/is a myth. scholars have proven the fallacy; i.e., Braude, a professor of history at boston college did such a study; however, exposing the myth did not/does not stop, or alleviate, the damage done to black people based on that myth as justification for chattel slavery and the aftermath of such slavery. many whites still adhere to that myth.

                      black is most definitely beautiful – no argument here – the
                      fetishism/fixation/obsession of black people will attest to that fact.

                      maafa was created and justified by whites using religion for capitalistic gains/purposes which created racism. poor whites no better off than slaves spit on black people because even though they did not have anything, they were not black. there is also a great deal of money in racism. robbing the poor disenfranchised feeds the rich.

                      whites referred to africans as heathens and that we should be thankful to whites for bringing us to america and giving us christianity. according to the bible, slaves and animals were the same. slaves talked. many churches during that time supported slavery. john hopkins justified slavery in the episcopal church.

                      there were slave revolts – nat turner, denmark vesey, cinque were remarkably fearless, daring and brave, among others.

                      to end the system of racism, i believe in the strategy of knowing and understanding the enemy and what the enemy is capable of — physically and psychologically.

                      • August 27, 2015 - Reply


                        I agree with you 100 percent.

  3. August 26, 2015 - Reply

    I want to go there.

    • August 27, 2015 - Reply

      @Staci Elle

      Me too.

  4. August 27, 2015 - Reply

    Wonderful endeavor.

  5. August 27, 2015 - Reply

    the statutes are amazing. the images are heartbreaking.

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