Sharon Leslie Morgan moved to Noxubee County, Mississippi to research her ancestors’ history. Morgan’s great-great-grandmother, Betty Warfe Gavin, was enslaved there, and gave birth to 17 children. The father of all of them was Robert Louis Gavin, a white man and the nephew of her enslaver.
“My ancestors came from here and fled,” says Morgan. “For me to come back and reclaim memories, experiences, relationships, I think that is going to help with healing the historical harm of slavery.”
Morgan is a long-time Coming to the Table member, the founder of Our Black Ancestry, co-author, with Tom DeWolf, of Gather at the Table, and a partner in FamilySearch’s Reclaiming Our African Roots project.
“I want to honor them by saying their names,” explains Morgan. “They didn’t have a voice. They can’t speak for themselves. An African proverb says that you are not dead as long as someone says your name. I am that person.”
Both Morgan’s talk and her forthcoming book will give her ancestors a voice.