A friend of mine recently forwarded me this link to a story about two women who discover they are linked descendants. This story is not unusual to those of us who post on BitterSweet: Linked Through Slavery. If anything, it reminds us that this “searching for each other” is happening all over the country, perhaps more often than we can imagine. For those of us who are linked, it is undeniable that we are emotionally drawn to one another. Many of us have spent decades tracking down our counterparts and have stepped far out of our comfort zone to acknowledge the legacy of slavery within our very families.
Ann Walling owns Borderland Farms in Franklin, TN, not far from Nashville, and created a nationally recognized program called Diabetic Alert Dogs: The Borderland Way. She was also an Episcopal priest. While writing a book about her family’s Southern history, Sunday Dinner: Coming of Age in the Segregated South, her research lead her to Andrea Scott, a great grandchild of Mary Jane Fairfield Hodges Perlina Green Scott, who worked for Walling’s great-grandmother for decades — originally, as a slave.
It was Ann’s brother who first approached Andrea. She reported to Ann that, “He unloads all this information as far as your family….It was all just kind of weird, and my brother was like, ‘What do they want.'”
Read the rest of the story and listen to the NPR interview of Ann and Andrea here.
PS I will be trying to contact Ann and Andrea to invite them to join Coming to the Table and inform them about BitterSweet: Linked Through Slavery.