I am certainly not an activist but I have spent thousands of hours researching my own family’s participation is slavery in a sweeping arc ranging from Virginia to Louisiana over a 250 year period. My great-great-great grandfather was hacked to pieces by his own slave on his Mississippi plantation in the 1850’s. When I found that out, I figured he must have been a huge asshole. The slave that killed him knew he would be executed for it (and was) but it was worth it to him. Desparate acts like that make it clear that it wasn’t Song of the South on his plantation.
Just a couple of months ago, I bought a real Manila (a slave trading money bracelet) from an antiquities store not to be morbid but because it is so educational on its own. It was designed to be used as a metal wristband to facilitate slave trading in West Africa. The reason it is revealing is because it shows a human life may have only been worth a simple copper bracelet that was designed to be worn around the wrist but I can barely fit it on three fingers.
The link above also shows that African slavery wasn’t a phenomenon unique to the American South or even the U.S. in general in the least. Many European countries and all of the original colonies had it. A few Northern states including Delaware, Maryland and Missouri maintained slavery even during the Civil War. That makes the overall picture much more bleak but it discredits the claim that the American South was somehow unique in having the institution. It wasn’t and isn’t. It was simply one of the regions that maintained it slightly longer than many of its neighbors. Brazil got rid of it even later but, even today, true chattel slavery is still doing quite well in west Africa and many other regions of the world. If people are truly interested in doing something good, they would worry less about people that are long dead and actually do something concrete for the people still enslaved today.