Blog Archives

Amazing grace

People ask what drew me to write a biography of Lillian Carter, mother of President Jimmy Carter (Lillian Carter: A Compassionate Life, McFarland & Company, 2014) Aside from the obvious—who wouldn’t want to write about the life of America’s sassiest

Posted in Ancestry, Arts & Community Culture, Civil Rights/Black Power (1955- 1968), Colonial (Before 1770s), Connecting Across Families, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, Farms, Historic Harms, North America, Racism, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865), Support & Harmony

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

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

Linking through the Internet: A Miracle

My internet connection had been down all day.  I was beginning to get very perturbed—for a lot of reasons.  One was that author and genealogist Sharon Morgan was going to help me scour the internet to look for possible linked

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Posted in Cities, Connecting Across Families, Contemporary (1970- present), Cooperation: Assistance, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, General, Linked Descendants, North America, Plantations, Research Adventures, Slaveholders, Slavery, Support & Harmony

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

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

Linked to Llewellyn

This is my first post to BitterSweet: Linked Through Slavery, and I wanted to briefly introduce myself. My name is Felicia Furman. I’m a white, middle-aged media maker from a privileged family. My ancestors owned a plantation called Woodlands and

Posted in "Nursing" & Parenting, Cities, Contemporary (1970- present), Contention, Sabotage & Resistance, Discovery & Personal Reactions, General, House Slaves / Field Slaves, Intimacy & Family Life, Legacies, Linked Descendants, North America, Racism

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

What Do We Want to Say?

The Storytellers of BitterSweet have wide-ranging conversations and share stories on many topics, and we imagine that our readers and guest contributors will expand the exchange with new topics and themes. Our stories touch on all periods in U.S. history,

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Posted in Beyond Work, Eras, Implications for Action, Intimacy & Family Life, Labor, Legacies, Power, Racism, Regions, Settings, Status, The Journey
Storytellers