Just Like Family

Felicia Furman’s newest post on “BitterSweet, Linked Through Slavery,” is superb, important, and nuanced, like her excellent documentary film, “Shared Histories.” Go to her website http://www.sharedhistory.org and buy the DVD “Shared Histories” and support Felicia’s work to fund scholarships for descendants. Felicia’s work as a white person who’s family once enslaved people is an inspiration for any and all who care about healing and reconciliation not only in the United States but everywhere.

BitterSweet

In the blog BitterSweet: Linked Through Slavery, we primarily focus on linked relationships between black and white people connected through US slavery—those descended from enslaved people or slaveholders who are linked by virtue of time, place or genetics.  Finding a linked descendant from before the Civil War is powerful and empowering.  We place a high value on these links because personal connections can create a compelling and intense desire for healing and reconciliation.   But I would suggest that there is another link that joins many black and white people today that is an important yet unexplored piece of our national culture.  This link occupies a more recent past, one which can provide another avenue of examination of slavery’s legacy and aftermath.

During much of 19th century US slavery, enslavers would often use the term “our family, black and white” to describe their relationship to the enslaved population.  This…

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About China Galland

China Galland, M.A., is the prize-winning author of several non-fiction works including "Love Cemetery, Unburying the Secret History of Slaves" (HarperOne), "Longing for Darkness, Tara and the Black Madonna" (Penguin). She’s completing a documentary film, "Resurrecting Love," about an East Texas African American community’s struggle to reclaim Love Cemetery, the historic burial ground they own. "The Bond Between Women, A Journey to Fierce Compassion" (Riverhead/Penguin), was chosen as one of the best five books on Spirituality by the annual “Books For a Better Life Award.” Galland has been a Professor in Residence at the Center for the Arts, Religion, and Education at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, the largest consortium of Christian schools of theology in the U.S, as well as a Research Associate, and adjunct faculty. “Art, Darkness, and the Womb of God,” the graduate level intensive, grew out of her pioneering work on the Divine Feminine cross-culturally. She has been affiliated with the Graduate Theological Union for over 20 years. A riveting storyteller and public speaker, Galland has lectured at Harvard University, Columbia, Cornell, Bowling Green University, and Prescott College among others. She led pilgrimages to the Divine Feminine in Nepal, India, France and Spain, appeared on “Good Morning America,” Bloomberg TV, PBS, NPR, and PRI's "To the Best of Our Knowledge."
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