Blog Archives

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 Discovery & Impact, Healing, Repair & Action, Individual, Family & Linked Descendant Stories, Legacies of Slavery, Racism & Injustice

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 Individual, Family & Linked Descendant Stories, Slavery

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 Individual, Family & Linked Descendant Stories, Legacies of Slavery, Racism & Injustice, Setting & Place, Slavery

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.

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Posted in Contact, Connection, Relationship, Discovery & Impact, Historic People & Places, Research Experiences, Setting & Place

When Places Wrap Us Together

As our car turns down the lane, I flash back to Mom in the driver’s seat, the blue Nissan van idling beneath us as we wait for the yellow behemoth of a school bus to mount the hill in the

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Posted in Contact, Connection, Relationship, Setting & Place, Slavery

Redrawing A Community – A Washington Descendant’s Journey, Part Two

Part One of this series is titled “Paper”. It explains my family background, and how I was launched on this journey.  Many thanks to the members of Bittersweet, for your stories and your support.  Part One: https://linkedthroughslavery.com/2015/02/01/redrawing-a-community-a-washington-descendants-journey/ PART TWO – “PEOPLE

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Posted in Discovery & Impact, Documents & Records, Healing, Repair & Action, Historic People & Places, Individual, Family & Linked Descendant Stories, Legacies of Slavery, Racism & Injustice

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

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Posted in Contact, Connection, Relationship, Individual, Family & Linked Descendant Stories, Legacies of Slavery, Racism & Injustice

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 Contact, Connection, Relationship, Discovery & Impact

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 Contact, Connection, Relationship, Discovery & Impact, Individual, Family & Linked Descendant Stories