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“Plantation Child” Picture for a moment the experience of being born into a wealthy Creole family in 19th-century Louisiana. You have all the food, clothing, attention, and care you require – a room with a warm bed of your own, a soft mattress, feather pillow, and mosquito net. Your mother or a nurse sings you to sleep in a hand-made rocking chair when you are tired or sad. Private tutors home-school you in language, the arts, math, and music. You have books, toys, and musical instruments to read, play, and spin away the hours of your comfortable days. Then around the age of three or four, you begin to realize that the black children around you, who possibly are your playmates, are somehow different. You can direct them. You can order them to do as you choose – with a simple command. What effect would it have on a young developing ego, to realize that an entire group of people, living with and around you, was there to fulfill your every need and demand?”

“Plantation Child” Picture for a moment the experience of being born into a wealthy Creole family in 19th-century Louisiana. You have all the food, clothing, attention, and care you require – a room with a warm bed of your own, a soft mattress, feather pillow, and mosquito net. Your mother or a nurse sings you to sleep in a hand-made rocking chair when you are tired or sad. Private tutors home-school you in language, the arts, math, and music. You have books, toys, and musical instruments to read, play, and spin away the hours of your comfortable days. Then around the age of three or four, you begin to realize that the black children around you, who possibly are your playmates, are somehow different. You can direct them. You can order them to do as you choose – with a simple command. What effect would it have on a young developing ego, to realize that an entire group of people, living with and around you, was there to fulfill your every need and demand?

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