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Echoes from the Past: A Reflective Journey to Kingsley Plantation

Listening for The Stories That Have Yet to Be Told

Kingsley Plantation Kitchen House
Side of Kitchen House

This new book is stretching me in wonderful ways, including forcing me out into the world! My journey recently led me to the historical grounds of Kingsley Plantation. While not the focal point of my upcoming novel, Kingsley will emerge as a character in its own right. I needed to immerse myself—to remember the sights, sounds, and feel of a place etched with deep histories and stories untold.

Solemn Grounds of Kingsley Plantation: A Personal Reflection

Visiting plantations always grounds me in solemn reflection, a stark contrast to the casual enjoyment others might find in their beauty. I heard a visitor call Kingsley "peaceful," and while I found peace in my visit, it was not a peaceful place to me. The air is thick with the unspoken stories of my ancestors, a reminder of their endurance and resilience. Though I have no direct ties to Kingsley, I consider all who lived and toiled there my ancestors, their legacy a constant whisper in the wind.

A Glimpse into History: Kingsley Plantation's Legacy

Kingsley Plantation, nestled on the edge of the Fort George Island, carries a unique narrative in the tapestry of American history. Known for its West African mistress, Anna Madgigine Jai, and its familial ties to American Beach, Kingsley Plantation stands as a testament to the complexity of its era. Anna's story, a blend of mystery, survival, and resilience, offers a rare perspective on the dynamics of slavery, freedom, and identity. Her story has intrigued me since I learned of it, and while I won't be delving into it for this story, she resurfaces now and again to remind me her story has yet to be told.

Aerial View of Plantation
Sky High View

The Character of Kingsley Plantation in My Sophomore Novel

While the direct connections between Kingsley Plantation and the beloved American Beach remain under wraps for now, their essence is pivotal to my book's narrative. This visit was about more than research; it was about feeling the presence of those who walked before me and listening for the stories the soil yearns to tell. This was a journey back in time, a moment to stand in the places where history was shaped by the hands and hearts of those who endured. As I craft my novel, the spirits of Kingsley whisper through each word, guiding me to tell a story that honors their legacy.

Carrying Forward the Legacy

Walking through Kingsley, I couldn't help but feel a profound connection to the past, mixed with a sense of responsibility for how we remember it. And yes, amidst the depth of these reflections, I find room for laughter—for the absurdity of history's complexities and the joy that resilience breeds. It's a reminder that our ancestors not only endured but lived, loved, and left legacies that compel us to keep seeking, writing, and remembering, and that I shall do in their honor.

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