Blog Archives

Redrawing A Community – A Washington Descendant’s Journey

In 2010, an archive of rare documents passed down in my family for over 250 years arrived at my home in Austin. Reading them I came face to face with my family’s role in both creating democracy and denying freedom.

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Posted in Ancestry, Colonial (Before 1770s), Connecting Across Families, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Historic Harms, Legacies, Linked Descendants, North America, Plantations, Racism, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865), The Journey

Linked Through Slavery–The Last Furman Slave Owner

This is the final post in my series of three on the connection of my father’s family to slavery —a 110-year legacy— and my search for African American descendants whose ancestors toiled on my family’s plantations in South Carolina. This

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Posted in Ancestry, Connecting Across Families, Contemporary (1970- present), Cooperation: Assistance, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, Historic Harms, Racism

It’s NOT All Greek to Me

Anthony Anaxagorou, a  surprisingly erudite, young scholar, ‘schools us’ in a broader appreciation of what shapes belief structures we circulate blithely as cultural currency. Watch what he has to say on the evolution of Western thought, here. I feel some pride when I

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Posted in Africa, Colonial (Before 1770s), Europe, Historic Harms, Legacies, Philosophical Culture, Power, Racism, Research Adventures

Coming to the Table Leads in Push for HR 40 Reparations Study

I am posting for Pam Smith. She says, “Ahhh the woes of not being a techy in a technological world! A few little glitches prevented me from posting this directly to the BitterSweet blog. As an active member of CTTT I

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Posted in Historic Harms, Implications for Action, Intimacy & Family Life, North America, Power, Racism

Discovering Table Manners

Image of Frank Tribble (1949-2013)

Thank you for the admonition, Prinny. (See her post, You Discovered a Slave Owner in Your Family Tree? here.) Granted, it was at Race Talks, an ongoing community forum in Portland, Oregon, where I found myself seated beside Des Moines

Posted in Ancestry, Arts & Community Culture, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Historic Harms, Linked Descendants, Racism, Research Adventures

A Rainbow Family

A Rainbow Family It’s been 20 years since I found my first “linked descendants.” Coming to the Table was not yet born and I’d never heard that phrase. I didn’t even know for certain that Betty and Tommy Williams were

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Posted in "Side" & Linked Families, Contemporary (1970- present), Discovery & Personal Reactions, Historic Harms, Linked Descendants, Racism, Slaveholders

You Discovered a Slave Owner in Your Family Tree? What Does That Mean to You?

A few years back, when I first met some of my African American linked descendants, I was excited and enthusiastic, ready to embrace them warmly. They opened their arms to me, and the renewal of our family connection has remained

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Posted in "Side" & Linked Families, Ancestry, Carribean, Connecting Across Families, Contemporary (1970- present), Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, Historic Harms, Linked Descendants, North America, Slaveholders

Looking for Links: First Steps

Introduction This is the first of three posts about my initial efforts to identify linked descendants connected to my slave-owning ancestors on my father’s side of the family in South Carolina.  These ancestors are Wood Furman (1712 – 1783), Richard

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Posted in Ancestry, Coercion, Punishment & Sale, Colonial (Before 1770s), Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, Historic Harms, Legacies, Linked Descendants, North America, Plantations, Racism, Slave Trader, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865), Slavery

Up in Smoke: Slavery Researchers Decry Burning of Historical Records

New Post Posted on January 10, 2014 by psmith30 (Post first written on January 4, 2014) I am fighting back tears and my stomach is in knots. Most people probably wouldn’t have a physical reaction like this upon learning that 100

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Posted in Abolitionist, Ancestry, Civil Rights/Black Power (1955- 1968), Enslaved People, Farms, Free People of Color, Historic Harms, Implications for Action, Jim Crow Segregation (1890- 1955), Legacies, Linked Descendants, Non-Slaveholding Whites, Plantations, Power, Racism, Reconstruction/”Redemption” (1866- 1890), Research Adventures, Slave Trader, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865), Slavery, Towns

Bittersweet Memories

When I was a small child, there was an old woman I remember seeing when we visited my grandfather’s house on the Southside of Chicago. She was extremely quiet, very tall (although slumped with age), with light brown skin and

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Posted in Ancestry, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, Historic Harms, Legacies, Linked Descendants, North America, Racism, Regions, Slaveholding (1780 -1865), Slavery, Status, The Journey
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