In his historic speech given at the march on Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that one day, “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”
Tomorrow, I’ll be traveling to Richmond, VA for the first national gathering of Coming to the Table, an organization inspired by King’s vision. I’ll be among about 70 descendants of slaves and slave owners from all parts of the country coming together at that table of brotherhood from March 16th through the 18th.
Coming to the Table is an organization that aims to acknowledge and heal wounds of racism rooted in the US’s history of slavery.
Finding and becoming a part of this organization is one of the many unexpected perks of researching my family’s history. All I really wanted to do when I set out on this journey was to discover what happened to my great-grandmother, Josephine, the daughter of a slave and master. I didn’t bank on making new friends with my far flung family members or allies in the descendants of the people who used to own my kin. And I certainly had no lofty goal of joining a group that wanted to heal the wounds of slavery. But I’m doing all three. Who says genealogy can’t be life-changing?
What unexpected bonuses have you received from researching your family’s history?