Happy Black History Month, everybody:
It shouldn’t be real. But apparently it is:
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On a frigid night in late October, Julian Lucas took part in his third Underground Railroad Reënactment. He and 10 other "fugitives" were chased through forests and found themselves at the edge of a lake. Following an "abolitionist," Lucas waded through the freezing water toward safety, wondering what his enslaved forebears would make of this strange tribute to history. Some people consider these reënactments a way to honor the spirits of the enslaved and connect with previous generations of resistance. Others argue that this is a trivialization of violence and trauma. Tap the link in our bio to read more about the cultural significance of Underground Railroad reënactments.
This isn’t even a one-off kind of thing.
We’re amazed not only that someone thought this “reënactment” [sic] featuring a bunch of white people pretending to be slaves was a good idea, but also that someone filmed it and the New Yorker decided it was worth sharing with the world.
And it already has 157,000 views and 162 comments on IG. One comment of note pic.twitter.com/Ig6IjlxxvV
— Andrew Wimsatt (@ajwimsatt) February 12, 2020
— John Alvarado (@johncalvarado) February 12, 2020
— Cale (@cicerostongue) February 12, 2020
“I was thinking a lot about how tone-deaf this would seem later, and which apology trope would be the best way to save face.”
— Rhett Derrick (@LawZag) February 12, 2020
Pro-tip for woke white students thinking about pretending to be fugitive slaves: Don’t. Just … don’t.