First, plantation houses were being marketed as wedding venues. Now, slave cabins are being renovated for a bed and breakfast? According to a TikTok that graced my feed the other day, the Panther Burn Cottage on the Belmont Plantation in Mississippi was listed on Airbnb. How did this not get flagged sooner?
The New York Post reported the “Superhost,” Brad, listed the cabin as a two guest, one bed and private bath stay. Aside from the fancy LCD smart-TV, Netflix access and other modern amenities, the description of the place includes a watered-down account of the history on the location.
“This particular structure, the Panther Burn Cabin, is an 1830s slave cabin from the extant Panther Burn Plantation to the south of Belmont,” it reads. “It has also been used as a tenant sharecropper’s cabin and a medical office for local farmers and their families.”
TikToker Lawyer Wynton gives a screen recording of what the Airbnb listing looks like and then goes on to point out the richest part … all 68 reviews of this cabin were made by (you guessed it) white people.
“Memorable. Highly recommend watching the sunset,” read a review from Katie. “Enjoyed everything about our stay. The cottage, the history, the tour, breakfast, all of it was great…” wrote Kristin. Another review called it a “delightful place to step into history.”
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Delightful?! If they only had an idea of what actually went down on those grounds. I’ve heard enough horror stories about the abuse of enslaved individuals to have a week full of nightmares.
According to the Belmont Mansion website, over 80 enslaved people were held captive on the plantation. The Belmont Research group has since worked to identify those families and individuals and dedicated Freedom Plaza at Belmont University to them. However, they still only offer a glorified version of what slavery looked like.
The listing has since been taken down. However, advertising this place as a cozy staycation is not so much surprising as it is disgusting. Any place home to the horrors of slavery should be recognized as such and not taken advantage of so white people can learn more whitewashed history.