"Be a Slave for a Day" Event Causes Controversy
Hampton National Historic Park in Maryland changes title of program.
The Hampton National Historic Park in Maryland is under fire for allowing guests the opportunity to be a "Slave for a Day," according to the Washington Post.
Hampton, which claims "Black History Month is every month," launched the program in which kids are able to do some of the things that slaves did. To Hampton, it's all part of an experience: “Work in the fields with actual hoes and scythes. Carry buckets of water with a yoke on your shoulders.”
The program drew the attention of Baltimore Fishbowl blogger Rachel Monroe. “Clearly Hampton is approaching this from an education-is-good! perspective. Their hearts are in the right place,” Monroe wrote. “Still, the inescapable and brutal fact of slavery was that it wasn’t for a day…. Some things are too profound to playact, it seems to me.”
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Park ranger and event organizer, Angela Roberts-Burton, who is African-American, said she was excited because this program would be a first-time event at the Parks and was trying to get a catchy title to get as many people to come.
“By no means am I trying to, or are we the Park Service, trying to assimilate the atrocities that slave African-Americans endured,” Roberts-Burton said Wednesday.
The title of the event has now been changed to “Walk a Mile, a Minute in the Footsteps of the Enslaved on the Hampton Plantation."