Slave Descendant now on Plantation Board of Directors

February 18, 2007

Today’s Tennessean has an interesting story on one of the newer board members of Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation. Like many board members of such properties, Luvenia Butler has longtime family ties to the state and the city. Unlike her colleagues on the board, however, Ms. Butler is the descendant of slaves who belonged to the owners of Belle Meade.

This is extraordinary. Plantations that depend on tourism revenue have been making progress in coming to terms with the fact that their fortunes were built on human bondage, first by acknowledging that slavery took place, second by discussing it on tours and in exhibits, and finally by identifying and restoring slave quarters. To my knowledge, however, this is a first.

You can read more on Belle Meade here.