Two people—a black woman and a white man—confront the legacy of slavery and racism head-on
“We embarked on this journey because we believe America must overcome the racial barriers that divide us, the barriers that drive us to strike out at one another out of ignorance and fear. To do nothing is unacceptable.”
Sharon Leslie Morgan, a black woman from Chicago’s South Side avoids white people; they scare her. Despite her trepidation, Morgan, a descendent of slaves on both sides of her family, began a journey toward racial reconciliation with Thomas Norman DeWolf, a white man from rural Oregon who descends from the largest slave-trading dynasty in US history. Over a three-year period, the pair traveled thousands of miles, both overseas and through twenty-seven states, visiting ancestral towns, courthouses, cemeteries, plantations, antebellum mansions, and historic sites. They spent time with one another’s families and friends and engaged in deep conversations about how the lingering trauma of slavery shaped their lives.
Gather at the Table is the chronicle of DeWolf and Morgan’s journey. Arduous and at times uncomfortable, it lays bare the unhealed wounds of slavery. As DeWolf and Morgan demonstrate, before we can overcome racism we must first acknowledge and understand the damage inherited from the past—which invariably involves confronting painful truths. The result is a revelatory testament to the possibilities that open up when people commit to truth, justice, and reconciliation. DeWolf and Morgan offer readers an inspiring vision and a powerful model for healing individuals and communities.
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Thomas Norman DeWolf, author of Inheriting the Trade, is featured in the Emmy-nominated documentary Traces of the Trade, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and on the acclaimed PBS series POV. DeWolf speaks regularly about healing from the legacy of slavery and racism at colleges, conferences, and workshops throughout the United States.
Sharon Morgan is a marketing communications consultant, a nationally recognized pioneer in multicultural marketing, and a founder of the National Black Public Relations Society. An avid genealogist, she blogs extensively, leads workshops on African American family history, and is the webmaster for OurBlackAncestry.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I consider myself a peace maker. I have long been interested in the issue of slavery and how one person could think it okay to own another. Here is a book of two people trying to reconcile with their personal heritages. One was the descendant of a family of slave owners, the other a descendant of slaves. Some of the places DeWolf and Morgan visited, I have visited. Their discussions were honest, raw, and deep. Even 150 years after emancipation, slavery is a wound not completely healed. We need a lot more people meeting one on one and listening to each other to bring about a full healing. This book provides a wonderful pattern.
Although I enjoyed Gather at the Table, I was struck by some omissions and startling revelations in the book. I loathe slavery and its aftermath, and agree it continues to influence the woof and warp of our individual and societal fiber, but I don't think it accounts for all of Morgan's anger. Although she competently and unflinchingly confronts and analyzes the insidious effects of slavery, she does not confront her own contradictions with the same determination. My eyes almost fell out when I read that she embraces corporal punishment. I find it astounding that someone who deplores slavery can believe in a disciplinary method that utilizes physical punishment and submission-- the very foundation of the slave system! Less astounding, but equally disquieting, is her membership in the National Rifle Association. Someone who owns a rifle, as she does, doesn't have to belong to that organization, yet she does. The NRA advocates for gun policies that are known to increase handgun ownership, which put minority communities at greater risk.