History Wedding Weddings

Why are couples still choosing to get married on plantations?

When it comes to marriage, there are so many wedding venues in the world to choose from. The list is endless and inexhaustible. Plantation weddings are an enigma to me, more so the people who opt to have venues there. It’s inexplicable to me. I cannot imagine people celebrating atop the bodies of humans who died enslaved, tortured, and in chains. Arguing that a venue is beautiful and perfect for your big day only further negates the atrocities and heinous history that is seeped in that place. It says, ‘I don’t care about what happened here because it doesn’t affect me.’

Only people in privileged positions forget about the horrendous events of slavery and take pictures where families were torn apart.

If a person were to have their wedding at Auschwitz the outrage would be gigantic. So, why isn’t the same level of respect given to plantation weddings? People vehemently speak out against concentration camps and history, but they have a tendency to remain silent on the history of slavery. No trauma is worse than the other, yet the disrespect is shown when one is honored over the other.

It’s 2020 now, can we please cancel plantation weddings?

How can you relive antebellum times and ignore the horrors that came with it? The Antebellum era was marked by slavery, the Civil War, and tension between abolitionists and supporters of slavery. That’s why Lady Antebellum changed their name.

It is impossible to find a stunning southern mansion that didn’t house slaves or hold a harrowing history that remains so pervasive. The legacy of slavery still echoes in our systems. So, I wonder what the desire is to have a wedding on a plantation. A place where not only the picturesque mansion still stands but slave quarters are also around the corner.

In 2012, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds got married at Boone Hall plantation, where black people were forced to harvest peaches and make bricks. They have shown support for Black Lives Matter by pledging $200,000 to the cause but have never publicly apologized. Their support is appreciated, but how can they move forward if they haven’t openly addressed past mistakes?

Pictures of their wedding can’t be found on the internet and Pinterest has put in place restrictions on plantation weddings on their site. Though they are still searchable you may be found in violation of their guidelines. Pinterest commented on this decision and said, “Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things.”

“Weddings should be a symbol of love and unity. Plantations represent none of those things.”

Plantation houses promoting these sites of human rights violations as ‘the best day of your life’ is a slap in the face. It’s insensitive, disgusting and perpetuation of the legacies of slavery that run rampant in institutions. These places should be relegated to purely historical sites. Museums that tell the story of what really happened in these places. Not just southern propaganda of a time when people drank sweet tea and courted one another.

A wedding venue may seem inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. But, these actions are offensive, ignorant, and hurtful to the Black community. The disregard for the tragedy that was slavery rings loud when people say ‘I do’ at plantations.

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9 songs from the 2000s that helped us all through the dark times

While I was growing up, there were certain songs that I’d listen to for hours on end. But as time carried on, and there came new music, the songs that I had endlessly listened to faded away to the backs of my playlists, replaced by new favorites.

I was sifting through my collection recently and came across all the songs I once played on a loop. I played a couple of them and felt myself slipping into the past. A wistful longing for the old days and feelings of nostalgia rose to the surface. 

These songs healed me when I was hurt. I sang along with them. I felt them. I lived them. They’re glorious reminders of my past. And, most importantly, it turns out they’ll never be too old for me.

1. “What Hurts the Most” by Rascal Flatts

Best lyric: ♪ “I can take a few tears now and then and just let them out / I’m not afraid to cry every once in a while / Even though going on with you gone still upsets me.” ♪

It’s a beautiful song by Rascal Flatts. It’s about pain. It’s about letting go. It’s about loving someone but not being able to tell them what you feel.

Each time I hear this song, my eyes become watery with tears.

2. “No Boundaries” by Adam Lambert

Best lyric: ♪ “I fought to the limit to stand on the edge / What if today is as good it gets?” ♪

Adam Lambert’s voice is so powerful. It makes you feel so many emotions all at once. The words of the song are beautiful on their own but even better in Lambert’s voice. They give you the courage to keep holding on, to never turn back on your dreams, to simply keep moving on in life.

You almost start believing that your dreams aren’t impossible, that there really are no boundaries.

3. “Someone Like You” by Adele

Best lyric: ♪ “Sometimes it lasts in love / But sometimes it hurts instead.” ♪

Their words are painful. They hurt when you hear them. And the fact that Adele has sung them makes them more meaningful.

Letting go of people who are important to you is probably one of the hardest things that you have to do in life. And this cold realization dawns on you when you hear this song.

4. “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus

Best lyric: ♪ “Ain’t about how fast I get there / Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side / It’s the climb.” ♪

The Climb by Miley Cyrus is my all-time favorite song. The words of this song easily flow through me. They make me feel as if I can make it through any difficult situation as long as I keep moving, keep climbing. They speak to me. They tell me that what matters is what I learn from my struggles – everything else is meaningless. I need to be stronger than what breaks me.

5. “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum

Best lyric: ♪ “Guess I’d rather hurt than feel nothing at all.” ♪

I can’t describe in words what this song means to me. Happy or sad, Need You Now by Lady Antebellum has been my constant companion. With its lyrics whirling in my mind, I feel different things. Sometimes, profound happiness. Sometimes, endless pain. Sometimes, nothing at all.

Its music is calm like the ocean, yet it can brew a storm of feelings inside of you. I’ll never get tired listening to this one song.

6. “Apologize” by Timbaland & OneRepublic

Best lyric: ♪ “They tell me that you mean it / Then you go and cut me down.” ♪

I remember listening to this song over and over again, even before I understood its lyrics and what they meant. I’d lose myself in its composition. There’s something about this song that touches deeply.

When I listen to it, memories from my past stir in my mind. I listened to this song while traveling to faraway places, when I felt alone, and when I was hurting. This song made me feel better each time.

7. “Innocence” by Avril Lavigne

Best lyric: ♪ “Feel calm, I belong I’m so happy here / It’s so strong, and now I let myself be sincere.” ♪

Avril Lavigne’s Innocence reminds me of the years I battled with depression. I used to hear it a lot back then because it made me feel something when I thought I couldn’t ever feel anything again. Being happy felt unreal, but if I did feel happy, I wanted to hold on to the moment, make it last a little longer. Innocence threaded my feelings into words. I could relate to it. I could feel it. Listening to it today makes me feel the same way – it saves me from sinking deeper into depression.

8. “Read All About It” by Emeli Sandé 

Best lyric: ♪ “You’ve spent a lifetime stuck in silence / Afraid you’ll say something wrong / If no one ever hears it how we gonna learn your song?” ♪

This song means different things to different people. For me, it’s about having the courage to openly speak our minds, to fearlessly say what’s in our hearts. It’s about being unafraid. It’s about letting the world know who we are and what we stand for. I return to this song each time I need inspiration.

9. “Teardrops on My Guitar” by Taylor Swift

Best lyric: ♪ “He’s the reason for the teardrops on my guitar / The only one who’s got enough of me to break my heart.” ♪

Taylor Swift was my favorite singer when I was younger, and I knew most of her songs by heart including this one. I’d endlessly listen to this song especially while traveling and sing along with it. And even though it is sad, its music is still very calming.

These songs may have come out years ago but their ability to fill me with emotions is undeniable. Unknowingly, they became a part of me, a part I’ll always hold onto.