EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Ani DiFranco Speaks Candidly About 'Plantation' Controversy

Posted on March 10, 2014 | by Mark Segal Kemp

Folk singer and feminist icon Ani DiFranco talked frankly with Acoustic Guitar this past weekend about a controversy that went viral in December after her fans learned that the staunchly progressive singer had scheduled a songwriting workshop on a former slave plantation.

“I saw the word ‘plantation’ and I thought, ‘Whoa! That’s going to be weird,’” DiFranco said during an interview in AG’s Acoustic Café on Friday, March 7.

“But I didn’t realize that there are women in my audience who were like, ‘No, that’s beyond weird. I can’t go there.’”

DiFranco shared blame for the decision with others in her camp who organized the workshop, acknowledging her own blind spot in thinking the plantation locale could serve as a teachable moment. She later cancelled the event. The singer, who has written anti-racist sentiments into numerous songs and worked for many anti-racism causes, also repeated her apology to fans who were hurt by the decision.

Stay tuned for more from DiFranco’s interview and performance. Also check upcoming issues for a full feature story on the singer/songwriter.

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