Let’s talk plantations… (IKR)


There is a tragic reality show on TLC called “The Sisterhood.” It’s set in Atlanta, Ga. and is mix of a pastor’s wives social club and “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Each episode is a cat fight with a few Scriptures thrown in to boot.

(Rolling my eyes)

The latest episode featured a fight between two pastor’s wives over a sign. One of the wives, a white woman, invited the group, who is black and Hispanic, to her home. Outside the door is a decorative sign (not historical marker) that reads: “The Rutherford Plantation, Est. 2010.”

When I saw that, I started scratching my head. Who does that in 2013????

The ladies stopped dead in their tracks when they saw it. One of them brought it up at the dinner table and a verbal crossfire ensued. It ended with the homeowner saying that the sign is staying put and one of the guests heading for the door.


For blacks in the South, plantations have a negative connotation. I was very surprised that a Southern pastor’s wife who has black congregants wouldn’t understand that.

But, then again, are we being too sensitive? People are entitled to put whatever sign they please on their home. Right?

I would love to know your thoughts. My blog is a safe environment where you can be transparent so, come on, don’t be shy, let’s talk about it.


12 Replies to “Let’s talk plantations… (IKR)”

  1. It was a tasteless and tacky sign. I’m proud of the lady who walked out. Sometimes it takes dramatic action to point out to people that they are offensive/insensitive/idiots. As a white southerner, there’s no way I would have made a sign like that. Plantations = wealth, mansions, power, and of course the flip side: the poor, imprisoned people whose free labor made the opulence possible. My ancestors had no plantations, that I know of. If I wanted a sign – and of course it would be ironic in my 1500 sq ft home – expressing my desire to elevate my home to the level of an antebellum estate, I may just put “The Gallitz Estate”. More subtle would have been the name of an actual (fictitious) estate from Gone With the Wind, like “Tara” or “Twelve Oaks”. Still offensive, but not as obvious and at least not real.

  2. I haven’t seen the show yet Marie, but have been hearing lots about it. Simply put, she should have known better. Regardless of race/ethnicity, the word ‘plantation,’ does not bring good vibes. Pointblank. Period. I don’t feel good about the word used to describe someone’s home. The guest who walked out did the right thing!

  3. I have no idea how to feel about this seeing as I wasn’t involved and certainly didn’t live back in those days; thank GOD. I can see where it would fire controversy. Sometimes I don’t know if our country is moving forward or electing to live in the past. I understand not wanting to repeat history and learning from history but we don’t to get stuck in it either. I am reminded from a passage from a book (on recovery) I read on a regular basis and it goes something like this, “Now I am warned to never fall into worry, remorse or morbid reflection as that would push me away from being useful to others.” Now, having said all of that, I also feel that because I am white, I have no right to say anything on this matter – but there it is. Thanks for the topic of discussion and spiritual searching.

  4. I can see both sides but ultimately I think the sign is distasteful. Even though it may be difficult to understand how anyone doesn’t see how that sign may be offensive, many people have different worldviews. Plantations may have been glamourized in her community. Like I don’t understand some peoplw whose family traditions involve guns. I think the outcome could have been different if the pastor’s wife who complained adjusted her approach.

  5. I agree most with your comment “who does that in 2013”!!! This is an interesting discussion. Beyond the offensiveness of it, it sounds cheesy and is a misnomer in that I am sure they just have a big pretty house and don’t have acres of planted fields. I was reading Gone With the Wind for the first time at age 34 (my name is Scarlett so I figured it was time) on an airplane when a black family boarded. I suddenly felt conscious of my book choice. I wondered what it might say to them about me. I was pretty sure they wouldn’t automatically assume i was some nerdy girl in the midst of a thirty-something existential crisis over the origin of my name.. The fact I was conscious of that at that moment tells me that it should be obvious that plantations have a negative connotation in present day.

  6. I agree somewhat. Calling her estate in 2013 a “plantation” is a little over the top. Insensitive? Eh. Thoughtless. Yeah. I think naming her property a plantation shows she doesn’t know what one is in the first place. She saw Gone With the Wind and thought she was building another Tara. Honestly, all reality tv these days is offensive is some form. You could write a blog a day about the crap that’s on all the Housewives shows, MTV shows, etc.

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