Gather at the Table: Book release with authors!
When Tuesday October 9, 2012 @ 6:00 PM (693 days ago)
Where Seminary, Martin Chapel
Duration 1 hour 30 minutes
Join Tom DeWolf and Sharon Morgan, co-authors of Gather at the Table, to kick off their national book tour at Eastern Mennonite University.
“Gather at the Table is an honest exploration into the deep social wounds left by racism, violence and injustice, as the authors work through their own prejudices in search of reconciliation — and ultimately find friendship.”
— Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate
Gather at the Table is the story of two everyday people from diverse backgrounds who are on a mission to overcome the trauma of America’s legacy of slavery and the lingering effects of present-day racism.
“I don’t spend a lot of time around white people. They scare me,” confesses Sharon Leslie Morgan, a black woman from Chicago’s Southside. Despite her trepidation, Morgan, a descendent of slaves on both sides of her family, agrees to embark on a journey toward racial reconciliation with Thomas Norman DeWolf, a white man from rural Oregon and a descendent of the largest slave-trading dynasty in early America.
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, they note. 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 than in the past, but it still exists, the authors argue. “To be blunt,” DeWolf writes, “it is clear to me that systems remain in place in the United States that benefit white people and inhibit everybody else.”
Committing to cross the threshold into each other’s personal space, they meet and spend time with one another’s families and friends, with Morgan noting: “Tom’s world is glaringly white. Mine is very black.” Over a three year period, the pair travel thousands of miles through twenty-one states in the Deep South, Midwest, and North, to visit ancestral towns, cemeteries, plantations and antebellum mansions, working towards healing the wounds of racism.
The book illuminates healing models developed at the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University through their Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) and Coming to the Table programs.
Ultimately, DeWolf and Morgan’s journey allowed them both the possibility of moving forward from the historic trauma of slavery in a new way. Healing will happen and change will occur, they believe, “when people start listening to one another, looking truthfully at their ancestral experiences, recognizing the privilege that exists for white people and the horrible oppression that still takes place for people of color because of it.”
Tom and Sharon hope to inspire a national dialogue about the legacies of slavery and racism and offer practical guidance for individuals and groups dedicated to healing America.
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 Morgan is a marketing communications consultant and a nationally recognized pioneer in multicultural marketing. An avid genealogist, she is the webmaster for OurBlackAncestry.com and is a founder of the Black Public Relations Society.
Copies of Gather at the Table will be available for purchase.
For more information about the book, visit http://gatheratthetable.net/
Intended Audience General Public
Name Lindsay Martin Styer
Phone # 540.432.4979