Slavery's Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race and Reconciliation

Rutgers Univ. May 2019. 280p. ed. by Dionne Ford & . notes. ISBN 9781978800762. $24.95. SOC SCI
In this powerful collection of personal accounts of reflection and reconciliation, editors Ford and Strauss bring together short testimonies from descendants of slaveholders, slave traders, and slaves who recount their various experiences and epiphanies in discovering their connections to slavery in their own family histories and their need to relate their stories as a means of coming to terms with the legacy of slavery and racism. All of the contributors are members of Coming to the Table (CTTT), a national organization working toward racial reconciliation by—in its own words—uncovering history, making connections, working toward healing, and taking action. The editors organize the book on those four themes. The accounts collectively show how sharing one's past can be liberating, for in discovering truths about their pasts, the contributors also uncovered truths about themselves. Reading such accounts invites readers to find their own connections to slavery and confront its legacies, and the editors provide guides for such inquiries. In that regard, the essays become conversion narratives promising reconciliation and perhaps even redemption by engaging history rather than running from it.
VERDICT A thoughtful collection providing additional insight into new perspectives on slavery.
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