Visitors experience slavery at the Hermitage

By Lee Roberts

HERMITAGE, Tenn. (Feb. 7, 2013) – During a celebration of music and culture tonight at the Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson, the performers and participants highlighted the experiences of the plantation’s enslaved community in 1865.

This year’s Black History Month Series is focused on Emancipation and the meaning of freedom, said Kelly Wilkerson, director of public programs. “January 2013… I’m sure most of you know, was the Sesquicentennial of the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President (Abraham) Lincoln.”

The Tennessee State University Meistersingers, a renowned ensemble originally formed in the 1940s, performed African American music for more than 50 people in attendance at the Andrew Jackson Visitor Center Auditorium. Then five members of SistaStyle Productions, an acting group formed in 2001, portrayed slaves sharing their experiences the day before being freed following the Civil War.

Prior to the event, visitors enjoyed a reception and toured a new exhibit titled “From Slavery to Freedom: Stories of the Hermitage Enslaved Community.”

Slavery to Freedom Video: A celebration of music and culture Feb. 7, 2013 at the Hermitage highlighted the experiences of the enslaved African American community that lived at the plantation of the seventh president of the United States. The Black History Month event at the home of President Andrew Jackson featured African Music performed by the Tennessee State University Meistersingers and slave accounts presented by the acting group SistaStyle Productions. (Video by Lee Roberts)

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