Linked Descendants Working Group

Linked descendants:

    People connected to one another through slavery and its legacies; People related through ownership, kinship, or violence.

Individually and as a Group, linked descendants learn the history of their connection to slavery and its legacies, like lynching and share cropping, in so many ways – poring intently over documents, overhearing whispered family stories, undertaking journeys to overgrown graveyards and dusty archives, accidentally discovering news articles, obituaries and birth announcements, or making or receiving out of the blue emails or phone calls as nervous genealogical researchers.

Linked descendants want to know the truth about their ancestors, discover their connections, maybe even heal a bit of the wounded past. If you’d like to learn more about your history and genealogy, check out our Genealogy Resources page or consider joining this group. You can contact us below for more info.

This working group manages/publishes a blog: BitterSweet – Linked Through Slavery, in which many aspects of being a linked descendant are shared through stories, essays, and ideas.

Join the Linked Descendants Working Group to share your stories of uncovering your family’s truth, possibly connecting to people whose ancestors shared their lives with yours, and come support others on this journey. Dive into deep conversations about how slavery links us, what that means today, and what actions we must take to contribute to equity and justice.

We welcome people who are doing family research and know there is slavery in their ancestors’ history. Being open to finding people linked to you through slavery is essential, whether or not you have come across them so far. Having experience with the tools of investigating family history, including with DNA analysis, is helpful, but not required.

If you’re interested in joining the Linked Descendants Working Group, have questions, or would like to submit a story or essay for the BitterSweet blog, contact us here:

WG - Linked Descendants

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