Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade, the new book from Beacon Press, chronicles the shared journey toward racial reconciliation by authors Thomas Norman DeWolf and Sharon Leslie Morgan.
The authors are touring the West Coast and will make appearances in Seattle, Ellensburg, and Pullman, Washington; Portland, Bend, Redmond, and Sisters, Oregon; San Francisco and Walnut Creek in the Bay Area; Pasadena, Santa Monica, and Pomona, California; and Denver, Colorado. All events are free to the public and media is invited to interview the authors and cover the events.
In Gather at the Table, DeWolf and Morgan speak candidly about racism and the unhealed wounds of slavery. “The legacy of slavery,” they write, “is a combination of historical, cultural, and structural trauma that continues to touch everyone in American society today.” “Schools, neighborhoods and churches are as segregated as ever; health disparities between black and white people remain significant and African Americans are overrepresented in prisons and underrepresented in colleges. Racism is more subtle now that in the past, but it still exists. Healing will happen and change will occur, when people start listening to one another and looking truthfully at their ancestral experiences.”
Over a three-year period, the interracial pair travelled thousands of miles through 27 states and overseas, building an improbable relationship. Using genealogy as an undercurrent, they visited ancestral towns, court houses, sites of racial terror, cemeteries, plantations and antebellum mansions, seeking to come to terms with the history out of which racism evolved. The book is informed by the STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) and Coming to the Table models of healing, both developed out of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Harrisonburg. Their national tour promotes conversations about race, social justice, and healing from the generational trauma of slavery at colleges, universities and other venues.
2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee hails Gather at the Table as “an honest exploration into the deep social wounds left by racism, violence and injustice.” John Paul Lederach, Professor of International Peacebuilding at Notre Dame calls it, “An extraordinary story of an honest, meaningful conversation across the racial divide.”
For more information about the book, a media kit and a complete list of scheduled appearances:
About the Authors:
Thomas Norman DeWolf, author of Inheriting the Trade, is featured in the Emmy-nominated documentary film 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 conferences and colleges throughout the United States.
Sharon Leslie Morgan is a marketing communications consultant and a nationally recognized pioneer in multicultural marketing. An avid genealogist, she is the webmaster of OurBlackAncestry.com and a consultant to the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society.