When it comes to Ani DiFranco, there are two things you can rely on: that one of her tapes is always going to be stuck in a rusted 1989 sedan owned by a dreadlocked high schooler who calls herself Flower, and that Ani’s going to be sorry when she schedules a songwriting retreat at a former slave plantation.
DiFranco was forced to cancel her four-day “Righteous Retreat” after learning the event was going to be held at Louisiana’s Nottoway Plantation, the “largest antebellum mansion in the South.” She apologized on her website:
when i found out it was to be held at a resort on a former plantation, I thought to myself, “whoa”, but i did not imagine or understand that the setting of a plantation would trigger such collective outrage or result in so much high velocity bitterness. i imagined instead that the setting would become a participant in the event.
And then, on her Facebook:
it has taken me a few days but i have been thinking and feeling very intensely and i would like to say i am sincerely sorry. it is obvious to me now that you were right; all those who said we can’t in good conscience go to that place and support it or look past for one moment what it deeply represents. i needed a wake up call and you gave it to me. it was a great oversight on my part to not request a change of venue immediately from the promoter. you tried to tell me about that oversight and i wasn’t available to you. i’m sorry for that too. know that i am digging deeper.
That’s not even the worst of it: think how many songs with slavery as a metaphor this “scandal” inspired.
(Banner via Getty Image, via Righteous Babe)