Slave descendant proud to be part of plantation





Luvenia Butler doesn't have photographs of her ancestors — among them cooks and masons — who lived as slaves at the Belle Meade Plantation some 150 years ago. But, she says laughing, she sees them every time she visits the premises. In her case, that's pretty often.

Butler is one of the newest members of the board of directors at the plantation — the very place where her great-grandmother Jenny White once lived in bondage.

"I've always been taught it's important to learn about the past, but you also don't want to live in the past," said Butler, who works for the state Health Department.

She is one of three African-Americans on the museum's 30-plus-member board.


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