Laura Plantation is the remains of one of the old sugar plantations of the Deep South, which depended completely on slavery for their success. They were brutal places where the death toll among slaves was always higher than the birth rate. You wouldn't know it from the tour.
There's really no such thing as a quick overview of American slavery and the Civil War, so this is turning into a series.
In good history education, the focus is not the war itself. (In this case the American Civil War.) It's why it was fought, the effects of a war on the following years, decades, centuries, and most importantly, what we learned from it.
Before the abolition of slavery, freedom didn't mean the same thing for free people of color as it meant for whites. There were lots of formal and informal restrictions.
White Slaveholders, Black slaveholders, gradualists, immediatists, persuasive abolitionists,moral abolitionists and those who wanted all blacks shipped to Liberia -- they covered a broad spectrum of opinions that ranged from pro slavery to unconditional freedom.
Then, in 1875, federal army and the carpetbaggers leave, the KKK wins, Black Codes are put in place and the Jim Crow era begins. The Reconstruction is barely even mentioned in history textbooks.
The Meridian race riot of 1871 illustrates the battles between freedmen and the KKK and other white supremacists in the South during the Reconstruction era.
If the Federal Army had stayed in the South longer, if the Reconstruction had lasted longer, if America didn't experience the century-long setback that came after the Federal Army left, what would black history look like now?
A rather random list of books and movies about slavery, I know, but It's my list. If you want a longer list, google it.