Originally created 09/23/05

Slavery depiction to be more factual

ROCK HILL, S.C. - Organizers of a living history program say they will be more accurate in portraying the harsh conditions of slavery after some black re-enactors quit, saying depictions were too sanitized.

The new program at Historic Brattonsville in McConnells, S.C., will depict parts of a slave auction, the journey of captured Africans across the Atlantic Ocean, the breaking up of African families and poor treatment by slave owners.

The program, By the Sweat of Our Brows, also will depict methods of coping with that treatment, such as finding new families, singing spirituals and practicing religion in secret.

The program will begin Saturday.

"We're not inventing something that didn't happen," said scholar Bertha Roddey, who put together the program.

"If people don't like it, shame on them," Ms. Roddey said.

At least three black re-enactors quit last year, saying organizers ignored the brutal treatment of slaves.

Historic Brattonsville is a plantation and Revolutionary War battlefield where volunteers and paid staffers re-enact scenes from 18th- and 19th-century life.


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