Real Housewives of Potomac film emotional trip to Whitney Plantation
WALLACE —Locals who watch The Real Housewives of Potomac may have noticed a familiar location in Sunday’s episode, as cast member Gizelle Bryant traced her lineage to a St. John the Baptist Parish town.
Bryant’s personal journey took her to Whitney Plantation in Wallace, where her enslaved ancestors once lived and worked.
Curtis Graves, Bryant’s father and a civil rights icon who marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., invited the cast of the Potomac Housewives to learn about slavery at the site.
Graves and Bryant are descended from the original Haydel owning family. Their ancestor, Victor, was the result of a forced relationship between a member of the owning family and an enslaved woman named Anna.
Although difficult to swallow, Bryant felt the need to learn about her family’s past. “It’s very important to learn about my history because I have to be able to share it with my kids.” Bryant said.
Guided by Director of Research Dr. Ibrahima Seck, the Housewives were clearly affected by the memorials, especially the Field of Angels, dedicated to the 2200 children who died while enslaved in St. John Parish.
Cast member Robyn Dixon said the trip was a wake-up call, adding it is easy to forget the struggles one’s ancestors faced and how far society has come.
The episode will air again this Sunday, June 9 at 6 p.m. on the Bravo Network and is available for download on Amazon, iTunes and Google Play.
The mission to tell the story of slavery is continuing to attract a record number of visitors to Whitney Plantation.
Trip Advisor recently named Whitney Plantation as one of the top cultural heritage sites in the world, and the site is continuing to receive record visitation.
In less than five years since its opening, Whitney Plantation is expected to surpass 100,000 annual visitors by the end of 2019.
Located at 5099 Highway 18 in Wallace, Whitney Plantation is open for tours every day except Tuesdays. Tours start at 10:00 am and are offered regularly throughout the day.
Visit whitneyplantation.com for more information. Online reservations are encouraged, especially during peak seasons.
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