“A Pledge of Allegiance to the South:” Commemorating the Enslaved at Two Historic House Museums in Kansas City, Missouri

Authors: Amy Potter*, Georgia Southern University
Topics: Cultural Geography, Tourism Geography, Ethnicity and Race
Keywords: Heritage Tourism, South, Slavery, Enslaved, Memory
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Research examining the representations of the enslaved at historic house museums in the United States has overwhelmingly focused on the Southern plantation. Increasingly, however, there is a call to resist the urge to only center slavery in the “South” and expand our understandings of how the institution of slavery and the global plantation system permeated all aspects of society, with continued reverberations into the present. For example, sites in the Northeastern United States, U.S. college campuses, urban house museums, manor homes in the U.K. are all thinking through their connections to the institution of slavery. This project, in collaboration with two historic house museums in Kansas City, Missouri, utilized narrative mapping, staff interviews, and visitor surveys to understand how a city now firmly entrenched in the “Midwest” is grappling with the legacies of slavery, particularly as seen through these two museums. This research is part of the larger initiative of Tourism RESET (Race, Ethnicity and Social Equity in Tourism).

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