Evergreen Plantation is a National Historic Landmark with 37 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places; 22 of these buildings form the only complete slave village in existence. We are open to the public for tours and research. Evergreen struggles to balance the story of the ancestors in the big house and the ancestors in the slave village. We have a research center that testifies to the effort to tell the real story, a building of documents. Still, the only story we can really tell is the story of the very successful separation and exploitation of one race by another. Evergreen is a working sugarcane plantation, the people who lived in the village were unlanded farmers. They did not own themselves or the land they worked. Unlike the ancestors in the big house, the ancestors in the slave village do not have a written history. We cannot tell you who they really were, we can only tell you what happened to them. Down the road less than 10 miles is a sugarcane farm, it belongs to the descendants of the Sorapuru family - Free People of Color. At the same time the enslaved people at Evergreen Plantation toiled in the cane fields for the benefit of the person who owned them, the Sorapuru family owned and farmed their own land in cane for their own benefit, in charge of their own destiny. They have a written history, the same as the people in the big house at Evergreen. The family will show it to you! The difference in success here can plainly be seen, not whether black or white, but whether enslaved or free. The free people of color form a bridge between people, black and white. The Sorapuru Homestead is a work in progress, the goal is a Free People of Color Living History Farm Museum.
Come join us for the day as we travel up the Mississippi River Road and visit both the Sorapuru Homestead and Evergreen Plantation. We will have lunch under the live oak trees and at the end of the day, we will sit around a table, drink coffee and eat homemade pralines and pecan pie and discuss these questions: "Whose story is this, how do we tell it? How is the future effected by how we tell the story?"
Jane Boddie is the Director at Evergreen Plantation and one of the team at the Sorapuru Homestead project. She will be your guide on the bus.
Ticket price: $45.00