Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Freedmen Well Not Really if Latta Plantation's Ian Campbell is Any Measure

Mecklenburg County canceled Ina Campbell's Latta Plantation on Tuesday.

Lee Jones the director of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation told the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners that the county would not be renewing the annual contract with Latta Place, Inc. on June 30, 2020.

Jones caved to social media pressure to cancel Historic Latta Plantation and Ina Campbell. The non profit had managed the property since 1972.

District 6 Commissioner Susan Rodriguez-McDowell piled on the hate:

"This is why we need to do a racial equity audit across the report" then adding "We should be doing a deep deep dive, in all our departments".

(The horror of the cliché' "deep deep dive". Ugh!)

Cancel Culture just took Ina Campbell's life and not one commissioner objected. Not one.

Its hard being descendant of 8 generations of Southerners dating back to 1734. My mother's side of the family even before that. 

John Edmonds fought with the 26th Alabama, captured at Gettysburg, he took one look at the conditions in the Union prison camp and thought hell no. Somehow, he was given an option of swearing allegiance to the Union or waiting out the war in a Union prison. Edmonds stopped whistling Dixie right there and then.

His father was from Laurens South Carolina and the family still owns property in Laurens and Anderson Counties. Other family members were from Union and Lancaster and Guilford counties.

There are no records of any slaves owned by any family member on either side of my family.  Not surprising since most upstate farms were ill suited to mass unmechanized agriculture. 

So in the late 60s when my father inherited 600 acres of farmland in Union County he was somewhat surprised to learn the property came with a woman by the name of Ufila Johnson and her grown son Albert.

Miss Ufila Johnson was the descendant of slaves. Born around 1890 she was quick witted and a joy to be around. 

Seems Miss Ufila grew up in what we would later call the "Slave Quarters" it was down in the meadow out of sight of the main house which sat up on a hill. In fact the main house sat atop the highest elevation in Union County.

The Byrum Farm was once a busy dairy operation. When Woodrow Byrum passed away in 1965 he was widowed and had no living children and so the big house sat empty.

After his death, Miss Ufila and her son kept the farm going with the help of Tate Robinson a hired hand.

But the money ran out and the farm fell into disrepair. Soon the dairy cows were sold off. The property languished for three years, as the estate moved through probate court.

By 1967 Miss Ufila had moved into the big house. The slave quarters' roof had collapsed. 

When my father drove up the long gravel drive in the spring of 1969, I imagine is was a troubling day. White man in a fancy Carolina Blue Ford Thunderbird wearing a suit and tie.

The house was huge, in fact much like the Latta Plantation House. Wide hallways and hardwood floors. Double hung 12 light windows. French doors between the living and bedroom spaces. It had running water but the bathroom was an outhouse and the water was only in the kitchen which was really just part of the screened-in porch.

My father spoke at length to Miss Ufila and her son that day. They reached an agreement with my father were they could stay as long as they desired. I don't know the terms or any of the reasoning behind the agreement.

They never paid rent yet looked after the property and took care of much that came about.

The next ten years are a blur. It wasn't until I was maybe 12 when I began to understand Miss Ufila and what she represented. 100 years after the civil war she was still part of that past.

She was a fixture in my childhood. To this day just thought of her makes me smile. Miss Ufila could snatch up a chicken, take its head off with and axe and have in a pot of boiling water in ten seconds or less and do it in one smooth motion. 

A minute a later she was pulling the final feathers off the headless bird. To this day Chick Fil A doesn't really do anything for me.

But let me tell you something.

All this aghast and hate about the South and Jim Crow and systemic racism and oppressed people and how the word Plantation is racist and on and on......

Is really narrow minded and embarrassing.  

I would come to learn that her father was a freed man but stayed with the family that owned his father. Not much had changed in the rural south by the time 1970 rolled around. People got along no matter what their color, they took care of each other as God and the land provided. 

They simply lived and worked as they had done for generations. 

Ufila Johnson's father was no more free than his father was because he was chained to the land. This was their life and so it became his daughter's.

The Byrum Farm became Brigadoon Farm. The dairy operation was replaced with a cow calf operation thanks to the Dickerson Family and Sally Mac Farms. Polled Hereford said the Brigadoon sign.

The "Slave Quarters" ended up on the walls of an uptown Charlotte restaurant.

The Byrum Home and Barn today are gone but the weather vane I still have.  

I'm telling you this because Ian Campbell couldn't tell you about Latta Plantation's story. But I imagine its is much the same.

The rural South was not a changed culture in 1865, there was no Juneteenth celebration. Life wasn't easy before and it wasn't easy after.  

Yet so much has been lost to cancel culture, this sort of hate, that even this story will be pointed out as racist and an attempt to glorify the south's racist past. 

So be it. I've got a chicken on the grill ya'll have a good night.




Anonymous said...

Wow, what a story, thanks for writing it.

Anonymous said...

They won't be happy until it gets burned down, because of course that will somehow erase and mitigate all the pain from the past. Have we ever lived through something so ridiculous in our American lives? Woke/cancel culture is already eating itself. Companies are at once embracing, then running from the same ideas.

I just hope the plantation house is covered by National Register and whatever development protection covenants could possibly be placed on it. Is Dan Morrill still around to be the voice of what is left of our areas history?

Anonymous said...

Cedar Mouth you are too stupid to see how racist your bullshit is. Oh how nice your dad let them live in a house without a bathroom and made them work the farm to stay there. Man that's racist and you're too stupid to see that telling this bullshit is just bragging that you owned these people. F-you CP

Anonymous said...

8:55 you just come around to posting your hate but never once post facts. What's racist about what CP says? Oh I forgot everything is racist!

Anonymous said...

Sad to read that Latta Planation, Inc. was fired by county commissioners.

I guess they are offended by use of the phase "Massa" which they all saw as an insult directed at Black Speech. But if they really understood history "Massa" was not a mispronunciation of Master but a biblical and Hebrew name meaning lifting up a burden, uplifting, or a gift.

But that doesn't agree with the everything is racist agenda.

At Brattonsville They took away the confederate battles and then the confederate soldier reenactors and refocused on 1776 and the colonial era. So it is now like the Civil War never happened.

Anonymous said...

Yup, because ignoring history makes it go away, right. And every injustice is righted by simply erasing it from the record. We are living 1984, especially with this being the only subject that gets any action in Charloot.

I do find it funny that Charloot is living with rules made by people who don't live there.

Anonymous said...

We are going to cancel Latta Plantation because it is racist. We are going to have a national holiday to celebrate the end of slavery. However, niggers killing each other over iPhones and air jordans? We good with that. Makes perfect sense to niggers I guess.

Anonymous said...

I'm still trying to figure out why they are canceling an operation that is everything in the way of inclusiveness diversity and equity? Is it because white people are included?

Anonymous said...

Reverse Racism! Simple as that! History is history, good and bad!

Anonymous said...

I have family that fought on both sides of the conflict! Most of them were so poor that they were close to being slaves themselves! For them, poor would have been a step up! Yet they worked to support themselves and their families by not refusing to work, living on welfare and subsidized housing, where getting a job messes up you getting your check! Think about that for a while!

Anonymous said...

These idiots don't want anyone to know the real history behind the conflict because it would be detrimental to their way of thinking. If they took as much time studying history as they did trying to eliminate it they would find that there were freed black slaves that owned slaves. There were freed black slaves who volunteered to fight for the Confederacy and their way of life.

Anonymous said...

I want my check!

Anonymous said...

So how is today's system of debt slavery any less egregious? We hype up going to college as the "only" way to make it, guarantee the loans so that anyone is granted any amount they want without a cost benefit analysis, make them permanent- not dischargeable by any means, for life, and then we tease those in bondage with 'forgiveness' programs or promises in election years.

Sending someone to Johnson C Smith (numbers are worse for Davidson, so this is not a racial argument) for $30k per year, fully borrowed, add on another $20k for living (borrowed), and you have someone with $200k in debt at the end. Many of these are going into teaching, social work, criminal justice- you know, the real high dollar professions out there. And you wonder how and why we created a generation of liberal idiots. Helping them make horrible, life altering decisions that put them under the thumb of the banks for life at such an early point in time is the modern version of slavery, yet I hear very little about trying to solve that current crisis.

Easy fix--> remove the federal loan guarantee. Banks, without that protection, won't lend $200k to someone leaving to make $30k per year. But this fixes a problem, and liberals have no desire to fix a problem, they want to take a problem and make eternal voters. Always have, always will.

Anonymous said...

Social Justice Issues have become a huge financial and mental drain on Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Look around at Charlotte's streets, crime and the worst ranking in Parks and Recreation nationally.

So now in some knee jerk reaction Mecklenburg County is going to close down Latta Plantation and either hire a new vendor after 50 years, or run it themselves. Talk about a pending disaster.

Then Charlotte City Council wants to address reparations?

The idea that taxpayers should pay Blacks for being descendants of slaves 150 years ago is nuts. They aren't slaves now.

How about we replace "Reparations" with "Repatriations"? If an African American feels so strongly that they were wronged then the USA should indeed pay to relocate aka repatriate them back to Africa.

Wakanda can be created in sub-Saharan African much the same way Israel was created. Beyoncé can be their Queen and life will be great!

Sounds absurd right? No more absurd than reparations or shutting down Historic Latta Plantation, Inc.

Anonymous said...

Stella be a goin' to Raleigh!

Anonymous said...

Yes!!!! Another Holiday. I hope it lands on a Monday so the ABC stores will be close for two straight days. Shit is funny

Anonymous said...

Good luck this weekend black people! It’s your purge weekend! (movie reference).