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N.O. lawyer transforms Whitney Plantation into powerful slavery museum

BY MIMI READ

WALLACE — At Whitney Plantation, one of the antebellum estates that line the Great River Road between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the architectural centerpiece is a Creole-style main house where hand-painted ceilings are adorned with flowers and vines. Out front are a matching pair of pigeonniers and an alley of oak trees whose branches theatrically drag the ground.

It’s easy to imagine a typical moonlight-and-magnolias tour unfolding here, with guides in hoop skirts expounding on the antiques — except that Whitney’s owner, John Cummings, will have none of that.

“Who in the hell built this house?” Cummings thundered recently while ferrying a couple of visitors around Whitney’s 250 acres in a golf cart through the rain. “Who built this son of a bitch? We have to own our history.”

[Continue reading article at The New Orleans Advocate.]

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