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Black Students Told to Pick Cotton as Slavery Lesson

It seemed like a good idea -- take an elementary school class on a field trip to a historical plantation. But things turned awkward when the tour guide decided to choose black students to demonstrate how slaves were forced to pick cotton.

The incident happened last Wednesday in Charlotte, North Carolina on a visit to the historic Latta Plantation. When the subject turned to slavery, tour guide Ian Campbell, who is black, picked three black students out of the mostly white class to illustrate slaves picking cotton.

"I am very enthusiastic about getting kids to think about how people did things in 1860, 1861 -- even before that period," Campbell told WSOC-TV. "I was trying to be historically correct not politically correct."

But the president of the local chapter of the NAACP said Campbell should have put sensitivity first.

"There is a lingering pain, a lingering bitterness, a lingering insecurity and a lingering sense of inhumanity since slavery," said President Kojo Nantambu. "Because that's still there, you want to be more sensitive than politically correct or historically correct."

Parents are angry, and teachers at the Rea View Elementary said they are planning to write letters of protest to the plantation.


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