My ancestors did wrong. It's right here in black and white.
January 16, 2019 8:02 AM Subscribe
#1 is Edie. She's 45 years old, and valued at $800. And she, her, it's hard to say the word…owner...it's not right. This is my second great grandfather, William Hayes Paxton. #2, Julia. She's 26, valued at $1400. The list goes on. There are 44 names on this list.After Two White Colorado Women Unearthed The History Of Their Slave-Owning Ancestors, They Turned To Reparations by Ann Marie Awad, Colorado Public Radio (article and audio of radio interview at link).
An anonymous Colorado donor gave her $200,000 inheritance to Soul2Soul sisters after learning that her great-great grandmother owned a slave named Alice. The donor refers to this as "personal partial reparations." Soul2Soul sisters, run by Rev. Tawana Davis and Rev. Dawn Riley Duval, describes itself as "a fiercely faith-based, Black womxn-led, racial justice organization focused on Black healing and Black liberation."
Lotte Lieb Dula discovered in her deceased grandmother's belongings a Smith college yearbook from the early 1900s that showed her grandmother in KKK robes. Dula also found a ledger documenting her family's slaves under the heading "Loss of Slaves by War, 1861-1865" (photograph in link). Dula works with Coming to the Table, an organization the links descendants of slaves and slaveholders to work toward healing the wounds of slavery, combating institutionalized racism, and reparations. She has helped pay the student-loan debt of an African American that she met through Coming to the Table, and plans to donate at least $500,000 toward reparations. Dula also plans to develop an organization to work on reparations for slavery.
The CPR interview by Ryan Warner is 24 min long and worth listening to (I haven't found a transcript). Excerpts with my transcription:
Warner: Do you have some sense that you may owe your status in life today to the work of that slave generations ago?Reparations on Metafilter previously and previouslier.
Anonymous donor: Absolutely. It can't be but that. [...]
Warner: What made you so passionate about this issue?
Dula: I discovered things about my family that I had no knowledge of. I discovered in my grandmother's records that she had been a member of the KKK while she was at Smith College in the early 1900s.
Warner: In fact you have a yearbook with you in which there is an ad, essentially, an emblazoning of the KKK logo on one of the pages.
Dula: I was stunned by that, and I found a picture of her wearing a robe, a hooded robe, in one of these yearbooks. I've always thought of my grandmother as a kind person, a person who made cookies for me, a person who wanted to make the world a better place. And when I discovered these things I realized, there was another, there was a very painful truth about my family, who hail from the south, and I decided that I really needed to look into this further. [...]
Warner: What do you say to people who think, these are the sins of your ancestors, these are not your sins? That the daughter can't be held responsible for the sins of a great- or great-great-grandfather.
Dula: I don't agree, because I feel like all of us as white people benefit from the effects of institutional racism. For instance, my forebears were lawmakers, politicians, doctors. These are the pillars of racism. I think this is how these things are held in place. These things exist today. I don't believe the past is the past. I believe it's fully present, these effects. So I am absolutely responsible.
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