Vacation rental website Airbnb has removed an 1830s slave cabin from its available properties after outrage on TikTok.
The property in Greenville, Mississippi, was described as a bed-and-breakfast.
A video posted by @LawyerWinton – Wynton Yates – which drew attention to the property has been viewed 2.6 million times.
“The history of slavery in this country is constantly denied and now it’s being mocked by being turned into a luxurious vacation spot,” said Yates, a civil rights attorney. “How is this okay in somebody’s mind to rent this out? A place where human beings were kept as slaves.”
The listing for the Panther Burn Cottage at Belmont Plantation noted the building had also been a sharecroppers cabin and a medical office for farmers in the area.
In his video, Yates includes screengrabs of guest reviews. Visitors had described the building as “historic but elegant” and “memorable.”
The property’s current owner, Brad Hauser, has said the property was only ever used as a doctor’s office and that he “strongly opposed” the previous owner’s “decision to market the building as the place where slaves once slept.”
“I intend to do all I can to right a terrible wrong and, hopefully, regain advertising on Airbnb, so The Belmont can contribute to the most urgent demand for truth-telling about the history of not only the South but the entire nation,” he said, per Fox News.
Airbnb announced on Aug. 1 that it had removed the listing and other properties that had been listed as former slave residences. The company said it was working to establish policies regarding how to treat properties with ties to slavery.
“Properties that formerly housed the enslaved have no place on Airbnb,” Airbnb said. “We apologize for any trauma or grief created by the presence of this listing, and others like it, and that we did not act sooner to address this issue.”
While speaking with NBC, Hauser said he had been told the cabin, which was behind the plantation’s main house, has not been a slave residence. He said the previous owner said the structure was not old enough to have been used for that purpose.
“If this was actually not a slave cabin, that does not make it better in any way because it is the further romanticizing of slavery,” Yates said after Hauser’s statement. “That makes this even more horrendous that you think slavery is a selling point.”