Twin Sisters Acquire Former Plantation Where Their Ancestors Were Once Enslaved 200 Years Ago

by Gee NY
(Left to right) Jo Banner and Joy Banner, founders of The Descendants Project. (Photo credit: Screenshot/

Twin sisters Jo and Joy Banner have made a historic acquisition, purchasing the Woodland Plantation in LaPlace, Louisiana, where their ancestors were once enslaved.

The plantation holds significant historical importance as it was the site of the 1811 Slave Revolt, one of the largest uprisings of enslaved people in American history.

“Knowing that home’s history and everything that happened, that our names are going to be put in paperwork of this home… we’re already seeing how impactful that is for us to be in this space just as Black women,” said Jo Banner to The Grio.

The 1811 revolt, originating at the Woodland Plantation, saw over 200 enslaved individuals march for two days before being confronted by a local militia.

This historical event has been ingrained in the Banner sisters’ family narrative for generations.

After years of discussions with the previous owner, Timothy Sheehan, the sisters finalized the purchase in January for $750,000.

This acquisition not only preserves their family legacy but also blocks the construction of a proposed facility that would have further polluted the area.

The Woodland Plantation is now set to become a hub for preserving Black history and addressing environmental injustices.

The sisters, founders of The Descendants Project, aim to offer genealogy resources and facilitate discussions on environmental issues within the community.

“They’re trying to clear all of our communities out and make it a true industrial corridor. So we are getting in the way,” explained Joy Banner to The 19th.

By reclaiming this historic site, Jo and Joy Banner are not only honoring their ancestors’ legacy but also actively working towards justice and preservation for future generations.

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