An almost 50 year partnership between Mecklenburg County and Historic Latta Place, Inc. has just abruptly come to an end after a highly controversial event was planned and announced for June 19th (aka Juneteenth).
In promoting the “Kingdom Coming” event, Latta Plantation posted the following description on their website:
“Come out to Historic Latta Plantation for a one-night event, Saturday, June 19, 2021. You will hear stories from the massa himself who is now living in the woods. Federal Troops (Yankees) have him on the run and his former bondsmen have now occupied his home and are now living high on the hog. Hear how they feel about being freedmen. The overseer is now out of a job. What will he do now that he has no one to oversee from can see to can’t see. White refugees have been displaced and have a story to tell as well. Confederate soldiers who will be heading home express their feelings about the downfall of the Confederacy.”
They (Latta Plantation) cancelled the event, but is doubling down that this was the best way to celebrate #Juneteenth. Why y’all? pic.twitter.com/2Hj6M6bZr5
— Alicia 💥 w/a D💥 Williams more on IG (@storiestolife) June 15, 2021
After days of outrage across every social media platform, Mecklenburg County, who owns the land and has contracted with the non-profit since the 70s, decided to not renew their contract, saying “Mecklenburg County has zero tolerance for programs that do not embrace equity and diversity” and that “Parks and Recreation was not aware of the planned event at the Latta Nature Preserve”.
— Mecklenburg County (@MeckCounty) June 11, 2021
Lee Jones, Director, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, says he sent a letter to Historic Latta Plantation, INC. telling them they are not going to renew their contract with them. The contract is annual and expires June 30th. @wcnc #MeckBOCC
— Hunter Sáenz (@Hunt_Saenz) June 16, 2021
The contract Mecklenburg County has with the non-profit is annual and has to be renewed each June 30th.
After this month, the county plans on managing the Latta House and taking care of the animals and grounds around the house. They are not yet sure if they will hire another vendor to run the operations or manage them themselves.