Blog Archives

Is Genealogy Racist?

“Is genealogy racist?” I typed into the search engine.

I had just received results from an ancestry DNA test. No surprises there — 99.9% northwestern European genetic heritage. I immediately wondered how many neo-Nazis use DNA tests to reinforce racism and claim racial purity.

As I typed my question in to the search engine that day, I was excited to find Coming to the Table. But it didn’t seem to apply to me. I come from a lower middle-class background: my ancestors were preachers, teachers, and laborers. None of my ancestors were slaveholders!

I later learned that I was wrong. Months later, once I knew where and how to look, I did discover slaveholding ancestors — among my working-class northern ancestors! But I didn’t make that discovery that day.

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Posted in Finding documents & doing research, Slavery & its 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 Finding documents & doing research, Slavery & its legacies

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 Linked Descendants, Slavery & its legacies

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 History & culture: people, places & events, Slavery & its legacies

Slavery, Memory and Reconciliation: What is the Furman Legacy?

By Marian Baker, Opinions Editor         Furman University. FU. “Furmie.” Or most commonly, Furman.         These are the names with which we refer to our cherished university. However, many studen… Source: Slavery, Memory and Reconciliation: What is the

Posted in History & culture: people, places & events, Slavery & its legacies

Spontaneous Solidarity

Serial, unpermitted marches; a die-in on a major bridge; even overnight encampment at City Hall did not get #BlackLivesMatter concerns into meetings with the Mayor/ Police Commissioner in Portland, Oregon. Instead of allowing public testimony on a secretly negotiated police

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Posted in Healing, repair & action, Slavery & its legacies

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 Linked Descendants, Slavery & its legacies

Repairing the Breach of Slavery

What Linked Descendants Say About Making Connections Across the Divide Reflections provided by participants of the December 2015 Coming to the Table conference call. Post co-authored by Sharon Morgan, Our Black Ancestry, and Prinny Anderson, Linked Descendants. If you could

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Posted in Linked Descendants, Slavery & its legacies

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 History & culture: people, places & events, Slavery & its legacies

Linked Through Stories and History

Today is Giving Tuesday, the day when we turn our focus away from purchasing and toward giving to work that we care about. We hope you will consider a donation to help continue the work of Coming to the Table

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Posted in History & culture: people, places & events, Linked Descendants, Slavery & its legacies