Healing is a subject that many individuals do not readily recognize in the conversation of the U.S. institution of slavery. Coming to the Table realizes its importance and necessity and is dedicated to communicating this to all individuals interested in positively discussing slavery. The stories featured in the
Healing section are about those who have undergone healing in their own lives and who seek to share its power with others.
“The common ground and compassion I felt in that circle invited long-suppressed tears to flow.” Descendants of lynching perpetrators and victim share their healing story from the CTTT National Gathering.
By Grant Hayter-Menzies
I was a little over a year old when the Watts Riots broke out in Los Angeles in August 1965. I don’t remember clearly what I first saw of the events, but I do have a memory of frightening violence on the screen of our black and white Magnavox TV set. I saw people hurting each other, and it wasn’t clear from what I was seeing whether the people running or throwing things or being taken down on the ground were the most to be feared or the people chasing them, who looked like the only people I ever saw in my small California foothills town. That is, white people.
From the time we exit the womb until the time we enter the sands we begin to construct our personal narrative. In between these two points a multitude of stories are created, some are significant enough for us to remember and tell over and over again and others are just small remnants of our day to day lives.
Betty Kilby Baldwin, an infant plaintiff in the Betty Kilby vs. Warren County board of education case, knows firsthand the need for personal healing as her family was traumatized by an incident that stemmed from the aftermath of slavery.