Blog Archives

You Owe Me What was Always Mine

“You owe me what was always mine” is the title of Briayna Cuffie’s latest blog post on reparations4slavery.com. She is speaking to enslavers whose family records, letters, journals, photos, plantation accounts, etc. contain valuable information about the men, women, and

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Posted in Finding documents & doing research, Healing, repair & action, History & culture: people, places & events, Linked Descendants, Slavery & its legacies

The Gwynn’s Island Project Reconnects the Descendants of Black Island Families to their Roots

  Maria Montgomery found me on Ancestry.com in 2016. Our family trees overlap because my ancestors enslaved hers. We are “linked descendants”—cousins regardless of whether we share DNA. She asked if I had any probate records that might list people

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Posted in Finding documents & doing research, Healing, repair & action, Linked Descendants, Slavery & its legacies

Healing Historic Harms Through Research — Sharon Leslie Morgan

Sharon Leslie Morgan moved to Noxubee County, Mississippi to research her ancestors’ history. Morgan’s great-great-grandmother, Betty Warfe Gavin, was enslaved there, and gave birth to 17 children. The father of all of them was Robert Louis Gavin, a white man

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Posted in Finding documents & doing research, History & culture: people, places & events, Linked Descendants, Slavery & its legacies

Cast In Bronze

by Trina Michelle Robinson I’ve always been fascinated by migration stories. Hearing the details about why a person left the place of their birth to settle somewhere new always satisfied my love of storytelling and origin stories. Perhaps I was

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Posted in Linked Descendants

“There was Nothing We Could Do About it”

By Antoinette Broussard When I was a child, Uncle George’s stories and the serious inflection in his voice always commanded my attention. He frequently told me about my maternal great-grandmother, Violet Craig Turner, who had been enslaved until 1865 by

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Posted in Finding documents & doing research, Healing, repair & action, Linked Descendants, Slavery & its legacies

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

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

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 Linked Descendants

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 Linked Descendants

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 Linked Descendants
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