Slave Descendant Unites With Plantation Owner for Heartwarming Dinner 181 Years After Families Lived There

From South Carolina, my sister sends me this link about descendants of enslaved people and enslavers who come together at Wavering Place Plantation in Hopkins, SC. I am gratified that these reunions of linked descendants seem to be happening more and more, as it promises additional conversations about the possibility of transformation and reconciliation.  I will be trying to reach these descendants about joining Coming to the Table.

Families of Nkrumah Steward and Robert Adams.

Dinner at Wavering Place Plantation.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Connecting Across Families, Linked Descendants, News Media, North America, Plantations, Racism, Support & Harmony

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 relationships between master and female slaves. It was a theme I followed up, at the post These Negroes Reveal A Curious Superiority, where cultural critic H. L. Menken observed in 1920 that the practice carried on, in 20th century society: “The more slightly yellow girls of the region, with improving economic opportunities, have gained self-respect, and so they are no longer as willing to enter into concubinage as their grand-dams were.” Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
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

Science May Enable Reparations

Reviewing a Book Review

beaconlogoA few days ago, I got an email from a friend who has become a leader in the field of researching African American family histories, up to and beyond the “brick walls” of slave lists that do not give names and the unwritten records of births, deaths and marriages. This email contained a link to something published by Beacon Press in “Beacon Broadside.”

With this double endorsement, I immediately clicked through.

alondranelsonWhat I found was Sharon Morgan’s review of Alondra Nelson‘s new book,  The Social Life of DNAfull of tantalizing information and pieces of Ms. Morgan’s own family research story. I learned that besides the documentary investigations she does so well online and in county courthouses, Sharon has long been researching DNA connections to her family’s roots in Africa. From Sharon’s overview of points in Ms. Nelsosociallifeofdnan’s book, I learned about an exciting and compelling new application of DNA research. The Social Life of DNA includes a discussion of how DNA profiles can be applied to making successful reparations claims.

Without hesitation, I bought the book!

Read the review.  Then read the book. And finally, come back here and share your comments!

 

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Ancestry, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Historic Harms, Research Adventures

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 have a conversation with a descendant of the people who owned your ancestors, or with a descendant of someone your ancestors owned, what would you want to say? What would you like to ask?

CTTT tree This was the starting point for a conversation when ten people recently gathered on a conference call sponsored by Coming to the Table — Bittersweet: Linked Through Slavery. The themes from what people shared on the call are presented below. Feelings – strong and uncomfortable — came up for everyone. Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in "Side" & Linked Families, Connecting Across Families, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Linked Descendants

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.
Coming Feb. 9, 2016Pre-order Now (2)

Read more ›

Tagged with:
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 that this “searching for each other” is happening all over the country, perhaps more often than we can imagine.  For those of us who are linked, it is undeniable that we are emotionally drawn to one another.  Many of us have spent decades tracking down our counterparts and have stepped far out of our comfort zone to acknowledge the legacy of slavery within our very families. Read more ›

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

BLEAK HOUSE – LINKED FIRST BY PLACE, THEN BY HEART (3)

Part 3 – Connecting with the Descendants of the Bleak House African American Community              

Part 1 narrated what happened when Alice and Jon Cannon bought Bleak House, the remnant of Bleak House Plantation, and then found a book with the names of its enslaved residents. Alice was galvanized into learning about those people and finding their descendants. Part 2 tells what she learned about them as talented, self-determining individuals, some still in Virginia, others farther afield. Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Connecting Across Families, Contemporary (1970- present), Linked Descendants, Plantations, The Journey

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 and Bittersweet so that we can continue to tell these stories and do the work of healing. Make your donation here – http://comingtothetable.org/grow-table/ And thank you.

 

Linked Through Stories and History

The Slave Quarters at Bracketts Farm

It’s a quiet place, on a quiet road, in a quiet county. A few dozen miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Louisa County, Virginia. Gordonsville. Bracketts Farm. Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Ancestry, Connecting Across Families, Enslaved People, Farms, Historic Harms, Labor, Legacies, Linked Descendants, North America, Plantations, Research Adventures, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865), Slavery

BLEAK HOUSE – LINKED FIRST BY PLACE, THEN BY HEART (2)

Part 2 – Finding the Descendants of the Bleak House Community             

Part 1 narrated what happened when Alice and Jon Cannon bought Bleak House, the remnant of Bleak House Plantation, and then found a book with the names of its enslaved residents.

Alice was galvanized into learning about those people and finding their descendants. Part 2 tells what she learned about them. Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Ancestry, Enslaved People, Farms, Free People of Color, Intimacy & Family Life, Plantations, Reconstruction/”Redemption” (1866- 1890), Slaveholding (1780 -1865)

BLEAK HOUSE – LINKED FIRST BY PLACE, THEN BY HEART (1)

Part 1 – Finding the House, Looking for the People   

At the Telling the History of Slavery conference, the woman I sat next to looked to be about my age, and like most of the attendees, not someone I knew. We introduced ourselves before the speakers began, and at the first break, shared more information. Something about the same way we each dealt with the question “where are you from?” alerted me to listen more carefully. As my neighbor listed the countries she had lived in as a child, “Burma” rang all the bells. “Alice! Alice Cannon! Are you Alice Purnell who lived next door to me in Rangoon?” She is. Our families were next door neighbors when Alice’s and my fathers worked for the American Embassy in Rangoon, Burma, in the early ‘50’s. We were very small then, but we could remember our cats who were siblings, our shared disaster with the bees in the hedge, and our study partnership in Miss Gevney’s one-room American school.   Alice is an only child, but she remembered my little brother, too. Read more ›

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in "Side" & Linked Families, Enslaved People, Free People of Color, Intimacy & Family Life, Linked Descendants, Plantations, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865)
Storytellers
Our Readers
Archives
Please attribute our work.
Creative Commons License
BitterSweet:Linked Through Slavery https://linkedthroughslavery.com/ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The fair use of our work, including reproduction for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research purposes is granted. Contributors are responsible for individually respecting copyright protection of source materials.
The Fine Print

Opinions expressed on BitterSweet: Linked Through Slavery do not represent the views or position of Coming to the Table or Eastern Mennonite University. Any opinions expressed in any given post represent the views of the blogger who posted it and may not be representative of the views of all the authors.