In a cemetery in the Mississippi bayou, my ancestors are laid to rest, the white ones atop a hill, overlooking the black ones that they owned. I first learned about these ancestors when I was twelve and asked my fair-skinned grandfather if he was white. I’ve tried to uncover their story ever since – repeatedly traveling to my ancestral homes in Louisiana and Mississippi, conducting hours of interviews, retracing the path of my people, trying to find out who we were. I discovered that we were slaves and senators, preachers and plantation owners, and a few were even writers – a passion that I inherited. I also discovered my living history – a third cousin once removed who like me lives in New Jersey and yearns to know our family history and even descendants of the family that owned my great, great-grandmother, Tempe. Together, we have recovered our common history. You can read about my experience with my linked descendants here: www.dionneford.com .