The owner of the property also apologized but insisted that the “slave quarters” never actually housed any enslaved Black people.
It only took a viral moment from an alleged slave cabin to no longer be listed on Airbnb. There are hundreds of thousands of listings on the popular app that allows everyday folks to list their properties for rent, but when a man saw that a slave cabin on a plantation was for rent, he decided to make a video of his outrage. He shared photos of the upgraded cabin—that was being listed as a bed and breakfast—as well as the reviews from several non-Black patrons who boasted about how wonderful their experience was.
The video quickly circulated online and as thousands of people shared in the man’s outrage, the owner of the property stepped forward with an apology.
According to NBC News, the listing has been removed from Airbnb. Brad Hauser, who reportedly purchased the property just three weeks ago, stated that the “slave quarters” weren’t actually for enslaved peoples and were used as a doctor’s office. He further went on to say that the building isn’t old enough to have housed the enslaved, although the listing states that it was occupied by sharecroppers. After slavery was abolished, many enslaved Black Americans didn’t have anywhere to go so they stayed on or worked plantations as sharecroppers.
“I apologize for the decision to provide our guests a stay at ‘the slave quarters’ behind the 1857 antebellum home that is now a bed and breakfast. I also apologize for insulting African Americans whose ancestors were slaves,” said Hauser. “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 also blamed the listing being promoted as “slave quarters” on the previous owner. Meanwhile, Airbnb issued a statement of its own.
“Properties that formerly housed the enslaved have no place on Airbnb,” a company spokesperson reportedly said in a statement. “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 this listing has certainly caused heated discussions online, it has been suggested that there are several more similar listings on Airbnb and other platforms of slave quarters available for vacation rentals.
Check out the video as well as a few reactions below.