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Derek Alderman, a professor of geography at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, discussed how plantation museums can be used to confront the difficult history of America’s slave-owning past for The Conversation.

Derek Alderman

Though trusted by the general public as accurate sources for historical information, plantation museums have traditionally romanticized life before the Civil War and ignored or trivialized the horrors of slavery. They have also downplayed the resistance and resilience of enslaved communities, thus preventing the nation from getting a fuller and more accurate picture of American slavery.

In order to make better use of plantation museums as places to learn about racism and slavery, the museums must be reformed in a major way and do more than just entertain tourists and sell a heritage experience. Read the full article on The Conversation.


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Lindsey Owen (865-974-6375,