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Latta Plantation Event Listing That Promised To Tell Stories Of 'White Refugees' Is Removed, Condemned

Carol M. Highsmith Archive
Library of Congress

A racist description of an event planned at Latta Plantation on Juneteenth has been removed from the historic site's website and social media, and condemned by Mecklenburg County and the Park and Recreation Department.

The event called "Kingdom Coming" promised to deliver stories from "the massa himself," telling stories of "white refugees" and Confederate soldiers expressing their feelings about the "downfall of the Confederacy."

"White refugees have been displaced and have a story to tell as well," the post said.

It was to take place on Saturday, June 19, the Juneteenth holiday to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.

The county issued a statement via social media Friday afternoon: “Mecklenburg County has zero tolerance for programs that do not embrace equity and diversity. Park and Recreation was not aware of the planned event at Latta Nature Preserve until it appeared on social media. We immediately reached out to the organizers and the event was cancelled. As a result of this incident, Mecklenburg County is looking at its contract with the facility vendor regarding future programming.”

The one-night-only event was selling tickets for $25 per person, and said it was "recommended for mature audiences only."

Historic Latta Plantation in Huntersville is an 1800 plantation house and grounds that says it gives visitors a "glimpse into 19th century life in the Carolina backcountry."

The full, original event listing.

According to The Charlotte Observer, this isn't the first time Latta Plantation has been in hot water. In 2009, a Black tour guide selected three Black students out of a mostly white group from Union County Schools to help reenact the lives of slaves. Latta Plantation officials said there was no malicious intent.

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Jodie Valade has been a Digital News and Engagement Editor for WFAE since 2019. Since moving to Charlotte in 2015, she has worked as a digital content producer for NASCAR.com and a freelance writer for publications ranging from Charlotte magazine to The Athletic to The Washington Post and New York Times. Before that, Jodie was an award-winning sports features and enterprise reporter at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. She also worked at The Dallas Morning News covering the Dallas Mavericks — where she became Mark Cuban's lifelong email pen pal — and at The Kansas City Star. She has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University and a Master of Education from John Carroll University. She is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan.