When visitors pass through the house, perhaps for 10 minutes at most, antique bells, up to 30 inches wide, will toll outside in tribute to the slaves.
“The whole time you’re in there, you’ll hear the bells,” Mr. Cummings said. “It’s a constant reminder of who built that place.”
An outdoor maze of black granite walls will be etched with the names of thousands of Louisiana slaves. Reading from a few walls during a preview tour, the Whitney Plantation’s academic director, Ibrahima Seck, a scholar from Senegal, explained the likely origins of some of the slaves and their descendants, with names like Santiago, Jolicoeur, Susu, Cupidon, Kiamba, Cinigal, Nard and Banning. “I will sit here late at night and maybe I will hear them talk,” Dr. Seck recounted.