Twin Sisters Buy Former Plantation Where Their Ancestors Were Enslaved

Jo and Joy Banner, twin sisters, have taken a huge step in reclaiming their family’s past and protecting the environment by purchasing the historic Woodland Plantation in LaPlace, Louisiana. This property has strong ties to its forebears, who were slaves there and participated in the 1811 Slave Revolt, a watershed point in American history.

The Banner sisters, who grew up on the Mississippi River in Louisiana, find the plantation’s past particularly poignant. They were motivated by legends passed down through generations about the brave people who fought for freedom during the 1811 revolution.

After years of negotiations with the former owner, Timothy Sheehan, the sisters completed the acquisition of the plantation for $750,000 in January 2023. This acquisition not only maintains their family tradition, but it also prevents the construction of a new industrial site, which could exacerbate regional environmental difficulties.

The Descendants Project, founded by Jo and Joy Banner, aims to restore Woodland Plantation into a communal hub for genealogical research and environmental justice. Their effort aims to protect the health and legacy of Black communities in Louisiana’s River Parishes, which are already impacted by industrial pollution.

According to NOLA, the sisters are strong activists against projects like the proposed Greenfield Louisiana LLC factory, which threatens to further damage an already polluted area due to chemical and oil companies. They underline the necessity of preserving their community’s past in the face of ongoing environmental problems.

Jo and Joy seek to create a welcome place for Black people to connect with their ancestors, learn about their genealogy, and discuss urgent environmental issues.



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