Advertisement

Woman Returns To Her Slave Cabin Childhood Home In The Smithsonian03:35
Download

Play
Emily Meggett (left) and Isabell Meggett Lucas sit together at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in front of a slave cabin on display that they grew up in. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
Emily Meggett (left) and Isabell Meggett Lucas sit together at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in front of a slave cabin on display that they grew up in. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C, has many artifacts connected to slavery. For one woman, visiting the museum this week was a literal homecoming.

Isabell Meggett Lucas was born and raised in a wooden house in coastal South Carolina. Slaves lived in that house during the 1800s.

The Smithsonian bought the structure and moved it plank by plank to the new African-American museum where it is now on display.

NPR's Ari Shapiro spoke with Meggett Lucas, who is now in her 80s, and her sister-in-law, Emily Meggett, about what it was like to revisit Meggett Lucas' childhood home. Eleven people lived in the wooden two-bedroom house that had no running water, no electricity and a wood-powered stove.

Meggett Lucas says that growing up they didn't know their house was a slave cabin.

"I guess it was a rough time for [the slaves] because it was rough for us, too," Meggett Lucas says. " 'Cause my mother had to work ... they had nothing to do but farm work, no education. ... I don't think that [my parents] ever thought that they lived in a slave cabin. I don't think that. I think that that was they home, and they felt comfortable there, and they felt happy there."

Copyright NPR 2021.

Related:

Advertisement

Advertisement