Alabama’s lynching museum, the Smithsonian African American museum, and other honest tourist attractions.


Visitor Dwayne Wilson sits in the Contemplative Court at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington on Sept. 7.

Evelyn Hockstein/For the Washington Post via Getty Images

On a walking tour of the New Orleans Garden District, my husband and I exchanged meaningful glances after the fourth or fifth time our guide delicately referred to the slaves who once worked in those elegant old homes as “servants.” To our ears, the reference was absurdly, offensively inapt, as if those enslaved people had been voluntary, paid employees. When we lingered after the tour to ask our guide why he chose that word, we were disappointed—but not…

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