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The vast majority of slavery sites construct narratives of history that valorize a white elite of the pre-emancipation South and trivialize the experience of slavery for both enslaved people and their enslavers. Through systematic analysis of richly textured data, the authors of Representations of Slavery have developed a typology of primary representational/discursive strategies used to discuss slavery and the enslaved. They clearly demonstrate how these strategies are linked to representations and practices in the larger social and political arenas.
Eichstedt and Small found counter narratives at sites organized and staffed by African Americans, and a small number of white-organized sites have made efforts to incorporate African American experiences of slavery as part of their presentations. But the predominant framework of the “white-centric exhibition narrative” persists, and the authors draw from contemporary literature on racialization, museums, cultural studies, and collective memory to make a case for public debate and intervention.
|1||Racialized Ideologies and Plantation Museums||1|
|Pt. 1||History and Overview|
|2||Different States and Themes||25|
|3||Overview of Plantation Sites and Tourism||59|
|Pt. 2||Managing Slavery: Representational Strategies|
|4||Symbolic Annihilation and the Erasure of Slavery||105|
|5||Trivializing and Deflecting the Experience of Enslavement||147|
|7||Toward Relative Incorporation: Complicating the Master Narrative||203|
|Pt. 3||Alternatives and Conclusions|
|8||Counternarratives of Black-Run and Black-Organized Sites||233|
|App.: Categories of Plantation Museum Sites||271|