Blog Archives

Gathering African American Families’ Oral Histories – The Getting Word Project: African American Stories from Monticello – Part Two of Three

Part 2 of the Oral History post describes the kinds of impacts that oral history research can have, regardless of the circumstances of the family whose history is being woven together. The Getting Word project’s impacts and aftermaths are an

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Posted in Arts & Community Culture, Contemporary (1970- present), Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, Legacies

Gathering African American Families’ Oral Histories – The Getting Word Project: African American Stories from Monticello – Part One of Three

So many of us want to know our ancestors’ stories and find out more about where we’ve come from. DNA research has advanced our ability to find and learn about our family members to an extraordinary extent, but family stories

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Posted in Ancestry, Enslaved People, Intimacy & Family Life, Linked Descendants, Plantations, Slaveholding (1780 -1865)

Spontaneous Eruptions

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Posted in Connecting Across Families, Contemporary (1970- present), Discovery & Personal Reactions, Intimacy & Family Life, Linked Descendants, North America, Racism

To Honor the Dishonorable

There is a problem I have been wrestling with for many years. One of the refrains I hear over and over among people working for racial reconciliation is the necessity of honoring the ancestors and the insistence that the ancestors

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Posted in Contemporary (1970- present), Discovery & Personal Reactions, Legacies, North America, Racism, Slaveholders

Our Caribbean Kin

Banner Image, Our Caribbean Kin

“Transcolonial kinship narratives seek to transform exploitative and dehumanizing social relations that characterized the European invasion of the Americas, and Eurocentric understandings of history, knowledge, power, citizenship, and humanity.” (Reyes-Santos, Our Caribbean Kin, pg. 8, 2015 ) I sit here in

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Posted in Carribean, Central / South America, Colonial (Before 1770s), Cooperation: Assistance, Cooperation: Assistance, Support & Harmony, Farms, Free People of Color, Historic Harms, Linked Descendants, Philosophical Culture, Racism

Brattonsville Experience

Story by Quest Whalen, Class of 2019, Tuskegee University, submitted kindness of Dr. Lisa Bratton, Professor, Tuskegee University Dr. Bratton shared Ms. Whalen’s essay soon after their overnight at Historic Brattonsville on Friday, September 12, and participation in “By the

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Posted in Ancestry, Contemporary (1970- present), Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, Plantations, Slaveholding (1780 -1865)

Spontaneous Solidarity

Serial, unpermitted marches, a die-in on a major bridge; even overnight encampment at City Hall did get #BlackLivesMatter concerns into meetings with the Mayor/ Police Commissioner in Portland, Oregon. Instead of allowing public testimony on a secretly negotiated police contract,

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Posted in Coercion, Punishment & Sale, Contemporary (1970- present), Cooperation: Assistance, Cooperation: Assistance, Support & Harmony, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Implications for Action, Power, Racism, Support & Harmony, The Journey

No Account For It

While drafting the post Half-white Slaves of Aristocratic Masters at my blog, I acknowledged that Edward Ball, in his text, The Sweet Hell Inside: The Rise of an Elite Black Family in the Segregated South, employs the term ‘concubines’ to describe intimate, long-term

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Posted in Coercion, Punishment & Sale, Cooperation: Assistance, Support & Harmony, Enslaved People, Intimacy & Family Life, North America, Philosophical Culture, Plantations, Research Adventures, Sex & Concubinage, Slave Trader, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865), Slavery

Saving Slave Cemeteries

Cemeteries are protected spaces.  But in order for those spaces to be protected, they have to be identified.  Sadly, for many reasons, many slave cemeteries are not identified, and thus, they are particularly vulnerable to destruction.

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Posted in Implications for Action, Slaveholding (1780 -1865)

Linked in Nashville

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

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Posted in Contemporary (1970- present), General, Intimacy & Family Life, Jim Crow Segregation (1890- 1955), Legacies, Linked Descendants, Racism, Slaveholding (1780 -1865)
Storytellers