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Ani Difranco, I Am Disappoint.

Even though there is NO WAY I could begin to afford it at $1000, I still freaked the fuck out when I saw that my beloved Ani Difranco is hosting a "Righteous Retreat" next summer.

But when I posted about it to Facebook, someone else noticed a detail I had overlooked in my excitement: It's being held at a plantation.


WTF, Ani? (And I'm kind of surprised Toshi Reagon is involved!)

From the plantation's history:

Considering his slaves to be valuable tools in the operation of his business, Randolph provided the necessary care to keep them in good health. He understood the importance of hygiene in controlling the spread of illnesses and disease, so he provided a bathhouse where slaves could bathe daily if they wished. He also had a slave hospital; he paid a local physician to make weekly visits and trained one of the slaves as a nurse to care for his slaves.

Ever the astute businessman, Randolph knew that in order to maintain a willing workforce, it was necessary to provide not only for his slaves' basic needs for housing, food and medicine, but to also offer additional compensation and rewards when their work was especially productive. Every New Year's Day, John Randolph would give the field slaves a hog to cook and the Randolph family would eat with them in The Quarters. There would be music and dancing, and the Randolphs would give the slaves gifts of clothing, small toys and fruit, as well as a sum of money for each family. In addition, the workers received an annual bonus based on their production.

It is difficult to accurately assess the treatment of Randolph's slaves; however, various records indicate that they were probably well treated for the time.



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