- By Nadia Johnson
When I was surfing the internet about two weeks ago, I came across a story on Twitter that took me aback. The story was about Airbnb and their latest addition to their rental properties in the state of Mississippi. Now like most people, I was thinking what was the big deal, I mean companies like Airbnb expand their rental portfolio all the time. So what was the shocker with this new addition to their rental portfolio? Well it seems that there former run down properties used to be slave cabins.
The feelings that I felt as an African American about reading how Airbnb is renovation former slave cabins and turning them into rentals is indescribable. It is sad to say that in the days of woke culture that there are still companies that are insensitive when it comes to our nation’s dark past when in involves slavery. This disrespectful idea of turning slave cabins into a money making business with no conversion with the black leadership or black community as to how we would like to project to be use is horrible.
However, I look at this insolent business opportunity in two ways, one it does means to overshadowed the pain, sweat, tears, humiliation, separation, and lost sense of hope that my and every black person in this nation faced in these cabins. It somehow makes slave look like it was a beautiful experience for both the master and the slave, which is not only untrue, but also promotes the raciest ideology of the hate groups. This may not have been the intention of Airbnb, but when a company is dealing with something as sensitive as this they really would consult the community and ask them how they would there both their input and take on this project. The second way it makes me feel is that we are once again not being able to tell our story. It is being told for us and it’s being told through the eyes of corporate America. I agree in preserving our history and if we can make some money off of it I am all for that too, but I would want it to be done in a respectful way. For instance, anywhere from 50 – 10% of the profits should be giving to the black community. The money could really help with voting rights, historical black colleges funding, black owned business, black homeownership programs, and the list goes on and on. The new influxes of money can also build an educational and cultural center to explains the both the history and cultural significance of the slave cabins.
In the end, I think that the black community should receive some reparations from these rental properties, because it was our ancestors blood that is on those cabin and we as their descendants are still dealing with the aftermath of their sacrifice.