Synopses & Reviews
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.
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.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Joy Angela DeGruy, PhD
Part One: Crossing the Rubicon
Chapter One: The Recalcitrant Bat
Chapter Two: Castaways from Security Island
Chapter Three: Friends on Purpose
Chapter Four: Lizard Brain
Part Two: Shades of Gray
Chapter Five: Many Rivers to Cross
Chapter Six: The Past Is Present
Chapter Seven: Colored Water
Chapter Eight:Cycles of Violence
Part Three: Forks of the Road
Chapter Nine: Grave Matters
Chapter Ten: The Crossroads of Liberty and Commerce
Chapter Eleven: Truth Be Told
Chapter Twelve: The Devil’s Half Acre
Part Four: Truth, Mercy, Justice, and Peace
Chapter Thirteen: Ripples on a Pond
Notes on Methodology