The video made its way on the internet in 2016, having many people react to it before it slowly became forgotten. However, the video seemed to gain attention again on Twitter this month. The video starts with a man talking about how he was hired to restore a 200-year-old chair that was shipped to him from Georgia. The video continues and it only gets more and more disturbing.
In the video, the man goes on to pull hair out of the chair’s cushion. Clearly identifying that the hair that was used to stuff the chair’s cushion was slave hair. The unsettling video causes a discussion about what else did slaves go through that many people don’t know. It’s no secret that slaves endured a lot during the time period that slavery was legal. However, do people really know what slaves endured other than what they learned in a high school U.S history class?
The horrors of slavery: A 200 year old chair sent in for restoration, stuffed with cotton and the hair of slaves
— GOLDICOX heaux 🧨 (@jstcwarrior) November 3, 2020
A person in the United States may have learned or heard of people saying that the U.S first president George Washington had wooden teeth. Which is actually a myth. It’s been researched that George Washington actually had dentures that included slave’s teeth. It’s documented that Washington had purchased 9 teeth from slaves for 122 shillings, which is equivalent to $1.25 today.
If you’re familiar with the Southampton Insurrection or more known as the Nat Turner Slave Rebellion, you’ll know that it was a slave revolt that was led by slave-preacher Nat Turner. The deadly slave revolt took place in Southhampton, Virginia. This slave revolt led up to 65 people dying. 55 of them were white. Obviously, this led to Nat Turner being hanged due to his involvement and leading the rebellion.
Although Nat Turner met his fate by being hung, many people don’t know that the slave master’s who participated in the hanging of Nat Turner decapitated many of his body parts and kept them as a souvenir. They skinned Turner, which led to his skin being used for different things. William Mallory, who participated in the skinning of Turner even mentioned it in his obituary.
With the chair that contained slave’s hair, George Washington using slave’s teeth for his dentures, and Nat Turner’s body parts being used as souvenirs, it’s not hard to question what else did Black slaves endure? Especially when someone still is holding on to a chair that contains hair from slaves that most likely was forced to give their hair up for the comfort of their masters.
It’s a huge question on why many subjects like slavery are watered down in many classrooms (both high school and college) history lessons. As days go on, Black people are learning new things about what their ancestors endured. Being able to know the true history of your ancestors without it being watered down to not offend white people’s guilt, could have some black people take more pride in their race and ancestors.