Dark story behind 1830s Airbnb listing: 'This is not OK'

·News Reporter
·3-min read

An Airbnb listing in the US state of Mississippi has gained mass attention online thanks to a single detail pointed out by an angry Tiktok user.

The Panther Burn Cottage at Belmont Plantation in Greenville was slammed by TikTok user Wynton Yates, who says the cottage is actually an 1830s slave cabin and is being listed as a "meticulously restored" bed-and-breakfast.

The TikTok user, who goes by @LawyerWinton, brought attention to the listing — which has since been removed from Airbnb — after sharing screengrabs of it online.

TikTok user revealed small cabin listed on Airbnb is a slave cabin
The TikTok user revealed the small cabin listed on Airbnb is a former slave cabin. Source: TikTok/lawyerwynton

"How is this okay in somebody’s mind to rent this out? A place where human beings were kept as slaves," the attorney questions in the video.

"The history of slavery in this country is constantly denied and now it’s being mocked by being turned into a luxurious vacation spot."

Mr Winton pointed out a line in the Airbnb description that said the property was formerly a slave cabin in the 1830s.

But it was also used as a sharecropper cabin and medical office for local farmers and their families.

The small cabin also appears conveniently located near the "big house" where guests can enjoy a "nice breakfast".

Reviews 'more shocking' than listing

Mr Winton also took aim at the reviews left by people who'd stayed there, saying some are just as shocking as the listing itself.

"Historic but elegant" and "memorable" are just some of the words used to describe the holiday rental, while another said it was "beautiful and peaceful".

Mr Winton pointed out the current state of the cabin is not a true depiction of what slaves had access to, and in a follow-up clip argued the cabins should remain in their original state.

The accommodation now features modern amenities including Wi-Fi, running water and "nice lighting fixtures," as well as a fancy bathtub, dresser and towels, all things Mr Winton said weren't available to slaves.

The listing description on Airbnb listing and reviews
The listing description mentioned the history as the lawyer took aim at the listing's reviews. Source: TikTok/lawyerwynton

"I think these places should remain, but they should remain in a way that gives something back to the communities that are still affected by the things that happened in these places," he says.

"The owners of these properties in the present day should be obligated, or feel obligated, to research and actually find the history of these places, these plantations, find the people that lived here, their lives, their names, because there are people’s ancestors that are still alive today."

'Why would you want to sleep in there'

People who saw the video were shocked to learn of the cabin's true history. One said her "jaw dropped" after learning of the property.

"Why would you want to sleep in there? how could it not make you incredibly sad just to be in it?" one asked.

"History is important to know. This is not that," fumed another.

A representative for Airbnb told the New York Post that "properties that formerly housed the enslaved have no place on Airbnb".

In a statement, they apologised for "any trauma or grief created by the presence of this listing" and confirmed the listing had been removed.

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