I wanted to let you know that an anthology of nonfiction essays by descendants of enslavers and the enslaved called 'Slavery's Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race and Reconciliation' edited by Jill Strauss and Dionne Ford has just been published by Rutgers University Press (May 2019).
All the chapters are by members of the national racial reconciliation organization called Coming to the Table. They tell their stories of dealing with America’s racial past through their experiences and their family histories. Some are descendants of slaveholders, some are descendants of the enslaved, and many are descendants of both slaveholders and slaves. What they all have in common is a commitment toward collective introspection, and a willingness to think critically about how the nation’s histories of oppression continue to ripple into the present, affecting us all.
The stories in Slavery’s Descendants deal with harrowing topics—rape, lynching, cruelty, shame—but they also describe acts of generosity, gratitude, and love. Together, they help us confront the legacy of slavery to reclaim a more complete picture of U.S. history, one cousin at a time.
Funding for the production of this book was provided by Furthermore, a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund (https://www.furthermore.org).
JILL STRAUSS teaches conflict resolution at Borough of Manhattan Community College, The City University of New York.
DIONNE FORD is the author of Finding Josephine. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, More, LitHub, Rumpus, and Ebony, and has won awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and the Newswomens’ Club of New York.