children of whitney high res

John Cummings, owner of The Whitney Plantation in rural Louisiana, says our nation still struggles with racism because we fail to deal with the root cause–slavery.

“You have two sides. Blacks are screaming prejudice to the white side, and the white side is looking and saying, ‘Why can’t they get over it?'” Cummings explained in a short documentary by the Atlantic.

“The Blacks don’t understand that the whites don’t know what ‘it’ is. We’re trying somehow, here, to define the it. Unless you know what the it is, don’t ask the question, ‘Why can’t they get over it?'”

Although he originally bought the Whitney Plantation as a real estate investment, Cummings has spent 16 years and about $8 million restoring the property and turning it into the nation’s only museum dedicated to the institution of slavery.

In 2000, Cummings hired Ibrahima Seck to be the museum’s director of research and helm the program that he hopes will finally educate the public on slavery. Because as Seck puts it: “The history of this country is rooted in slavery. If you don’t understand the source of the problem, how can you solve it?”

Take a look at the Atlantic’s eye-opening documentary on the Whitney Plantation.

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