There can be no healing at Nottoway Plantation

Dear Ani DiFranco Supporters: You Cannot Reclaim an Oppression You Have Never Experienced
photo anidifranco.jpg
In yet another example of white feminist cluelessness, Singer Ani DiFranco will hold her annual songwriting retreat this year on Nottoway Plantation in Louisiana. Righteous Retreat Song Camp is billed as a feminist songwriting retreat, and DiFranco’s choice to hold the event at this locale has drawn ire from Black women who note the offensiveness of the location.
Source: For Harriet: Celebrating the fullness of Black womanhood.

The Nottoway Plantation is currently owned and operated by Nottoway Plantation Inc. which operates a museum, restaurant and hotel from the premises. Tours are given daily, and you are invited to sample the absolute delights afforded the white slave owners who once resided in the massive opulent home.

Like all former plantations turned educational sites, the information about the lives of the men and women enslaved there focuses on how nice their master and mistress were to them.
Source: PQ (Proud Queer) Monthly

There is a petition to sign asking DiFranco to cancel this event.

DiFranco has now cancelled the event and issued an apology and a statement.

Categories: ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, history, social justice

Tags: ,

8 replies

  1. Ahhh fuck. Sometimes it feels like we make one step forward then a million steps back.

  2. Another quote from the original article:

    In fact, defenders like Mandi Harrington, a visibly white woman, try to tell us that we need to “reclaim” these spaces.

    Since when can members of an oppressor group “reclaim” anything for an oppressed group?
    A group of afro-americans (presumably consisting largely of the descendents of slaves) could conceivably hold a conference there with the goal of “reclaiming” the space. Not a member of the group that in those days could only own slaves, not be slaves.

  3. Sigh. Although DiFranco has played at the transphobic Mich Fest, with as far as I know, no apology or explanation. So yeah, complete intersectionality fail.

  4. I couldn’t see anywhere to sign the petition at that link on inagist (I guess it only works if you’re on Twitter), but I found it at

  5. I don’t think I can make it through the entire statement for the level of headdesking and embarrassment on behalf of DiFranco I am feeling.
    No, you do not get to claim to be all aware and in-tune about racism, slavery, etc and surprised at the negative reactions to this event at the same time, particularly not when you describe those reactions with words like “high velocity bitterness”.
    Another one to strike off the good feminists list, I guess.

  6. I wonder if Ani DiFranco read this before she organised her concert there?
    I’m guessing whoever wrote that is a proponent of the ‘it’s all history now and y’all need to just get over it’.
    H/T to Clem Ford for the link (via Twitter)

  7. DiFranco’s manager seems determined to continue filling the racist bingo card. From this article (warning: one-sided and oblivious): “A few voices were very loud, and they drowned out more reasoned conversation.”
    (Bear in mind that this is describing discussion on a FB page where the critics were deleted, and a white defender of DiFranco made up a “black woman” sockpuppet, complete with bad eye dialect, as described in the original link.)

%d bloggers like this: