Speaking for the Enslaved Heritage Interpretation at Antebellum Plantation Sites
Focusing on the agency of enslaved Africans and their descendants in the South, this work argues for the systematic unveiling and recovery of subjugated knowledge, histories, and cultural practices of those traditionally silenced and overlooked by national heritage projects and national public memories. Jackson uses both ethnographic and ethnohistorical data to show the various ways African Americans actively created and maintained their own heritage and cultural formations. Viewed through the lens of four distinctive plantation sites—including the one on which that the ancestors of First Lady Michelle Obama lived—everyday acts of living, learning, and surviving profoundly challenge the way American heritage has been constructed and represented. A fascinating, critical view of the ways culture, history, social policy, and identity influence heritage sites and the business of heritage research management in public spaces.