This summer, while we were in Florida I coerced my husband to take me to the Kingsley Slave Plantation on my birthday, of all days. Yeah, I know, not exactly the ideal “turn up” but I wanted to go so bad! I’ve had this… I dunno.. yearning to expand my knowledge of the history of black people in America. So book wise, I got a real firm handle, but feeling… connection wise.. I was.. dry? Well, while we were in Florida I actually went and visited this plantation several times. You know, for context…
On a few occasions we were the only ones there, and it was so peaceful and so serene .. how.. how could a place of such breath taking beauty harbor hundreds of years of pain, fear and utter hopelessness. It’s borderline nauseating.
But, there was something empowering, about walking around there, wherever I pleased, letting my baby just run aimlessly as if it were her own backyard.
I think one of the reasons I went back so frequently was to “show them” you know, like nanny nanny *sticks out tongue* to the spirits of the former Slave owners, if you believe in that kind of stuff. And then a little “this ones for you” type deal for all the tortured souls that are still there. That might sound silly to some people but that’s how I felt!
The first time we visited, it was a somber experience. Sad and quiet. Trying to feeel it, every visit after became more light hearted, more spiritually freeing!
I can’t say that anyone directly related to me was a slave at this plantation, but on scale of Black Americans as whole it felt… necessary, for me, to go and BE in a place I only ever read about. For me, it was so much more than a “museum” it was a spiritual connection to a gruesome history, something that shouldn’t ever be forgotten. But felt. If these walls could talk, imagine what they would say.
It was such an amazing experience for me, I would encourage people, to delve into their own histories, regardless of what they are. I feel like my journey is only just beginning and my sense of self is greater than it ever was!