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Slavery museum must be balanced
Slavery museum must be balanced

Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 10/18/2002

There has been a great deal of local discussion about the new slavery museum, but nowhere have I read any detail about its content. Americans of African descent who were slaves represent less than 5 percent of the total worldwide slavery experience.

Is the new slavery museum going to present the total slavery picture, or just focus on the American aspects of slavery? If the latter is the case, how will this be handled? People of color were not the only slaves; other nationalities were also slaves and, interestingly, there were people of color who owned slaves.

Will the museum focus on the terrible living conditions of slaves without also showing that many non-slaves lived in cabins without floors or amenities, had poor food, lacked sanitation, and died young from a very difficult life?

What I am concerned about is the amount of balance the museum presentations will be given and the concern that if they are not handled with perspective, the slavery museum will become a divisive force in race relations.

I hope your paper and its readers will explore these issues.

William J. Watson