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Lit Squad: YA novel takes on the issue of using former plantations as event venues

The idea of how to teach American history has been very much in the news over the past few years; much of the debate centers on how to talk about some of the more difficult and troubling parts of the country’s past.

That idea is a big part of author Kelly McWilliams’ latest young adult novel, called “Your Plantation Prom is Not Okay.”

In it, the main character Harriet Douglass lives on a former plantation site, which she and her parents have transformed into an enslaved people’s museum. But when the former plantation next door is bought and turned into an event space, she knows she has to fight that.

As part of Lit Squad, a series of conversations with the authors of middle grade and young adult novels, The Show spoke with McWilliams about her book.

McWilliams talked about her impetus to write it — and why so many former plantations continue to ignore their history of slavery.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.