Book event focuses on ‘Slavery’s Descendants’

Presentation and discussion Thursday Aug. 8

Looking America’s racial past square in the eye is a newly published book, “Slavery’s Descendants, Shared Legacies of Race and Reconciliation,” which contains a collection of 25 essays from descendants of slaves and slave owners.

There will be a presentation and discussion at 11 a.m., Aug. 8 at St. Augustine’s-in-the-Woods Episcopal Church in Freeland.

Whidbey Island resident Eileen Jackson contributed a story of her own and will be speaking at the event to provide more information about the book and share her personal story of meeting family members who were both enslavers and enslaved.

“This book is really sort of a blueprint for how we might begin to address the issues that are so prevalent in our society today,” Jackson said. “It’s a very complex topic … because the emotions of the individuals aren’t necessarily the same as the political rhetoric.’”

The contributors to the book are part of the national organization, Coming to the Table, which works toward racial reconciliation. The stories speak of pain, loss and human cruelty but also of love and connection.

“Some are descendants of slaveholders, some are descendants of the enslaved, and many are descendants of both slaveholders and slaves,” the book description reads. “What they all have in common is a commitment toward collective introspection, and a willingness to think critically about how the nation’s histories of oppression continue to ripple into the present, affecting us all.”

The book, which was edited by Dionne Ford and Jill Strauss, contains four sections, “Uncovering History,” “Making Connections,” “Working Toward Healing” and “Taking Action.”

Jackson said it’s important for people to know that the event will be a “‘safe place to talk about these very contentious issues,” she said.

The book is available at Moonraker Books in Langley.

More in News

Running Start classes available over summer

Skagit Valley College is launching a summer pilot program for high schoolers to earn college credit.

EOD to conduct explosive training May 24

The training is needed as part of the unit’s certification for deployment and is in accordance with established military training and readiness requirements.

Car crashes into building, boat during police chase

The car went through a building, struck a “Zodiac type boat” and came to rest against the far wall, the deputy’s report states.

North Whidbey man jailed for car insurance fraud

Arnold F. Bodner, 58, pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court April 16 to a single count of insurance false claim, which was a felony charge because the amount of the claim exceeded $1,500.

Maple Leaf Cemetery groundskeeper William West, at left, and caretaker Michael Dougliss plant the first tree that is part of a new remembrance project. (Photo provided)
Cemetery offers trees as way to memorialize their loved ones

People can have a tree planted in memory of a loved one, who doesn’t have to be buried in the cemetery, for a donation of $100.

Amid good news on COVID, a troubling drop in vaccine demand

The wrinkle in the good news for Whidbey Island and the nation is that demand for vaccinations is decreasing, which is very bad news for public health and businesses.

School district registering for alternative program

Students, even those who live outside the district, are invited to register for South Whidbey’s new ALE program.

WICA celebrating 25th anniversary

The organization founded in 1996 is the result of a 10-year, community-funded effort.

Aja and Rainey Stewart, 4, search for bees in a tree in bloom.
Island farmers abuzz about absence of native bees

Eighteen farmers approached the county commissioners at a recent meeting about the issue, voicing their concerns about the lack of native pollinators.

Most Read