Former glory?

Today’s Wilson Times touted the renovation of the James Scarborough plantation house near Saratoga, and its new use as an event venue, as a return to its “former glory.” Though the reporter’s editor was unfazed by her nostalgic waxing, some readers on Facebook immediately homed in on the problem.

I added to the Facebook thread a link to Black Wide-Awake‘s post on this 200 year-old house. The Times article speaks of parties and weddings and family reunions, and the desire of the new owners to share “this home and its history with the community,” but there is no mention, even in passing, of the largest set of actors in that history. Nan, Aggy Sr., Silvey, Lemon, Washington, Sumter, Young Aggy, Haywood, Luke, Gilford, Orange, and Willis, among others, were enslaved by James and Martha Scarborough, and their labor created and sustained the family’s wealth. Enslaved men and women built this house, labored in its fields, cooked in its kitchen, cared for its children. Glory came only with freedom.

After some hours, The Times modified its article and offered this statement — an acknowledgment that stops well short of an apology and seems still to miss the point.

My thanks to all who spoke truth and demanded accountability today.

Photo courtesy of Wilson Times.


  1. Sounds like the new ‘owners’ plan on attracting a niche clientele that sees no issue in repurposing the horrors of slavery as a backdrop for entertainment. Surely they were well aware of the history.

    And the referenced newspaper, with their “sorry, not sorry” edit of the original story, is just a conduit for this brand of covert racism.

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