Sharon Morgan is a descendant of slaves; Thomas DeWolf, a descendant of slaveholders. The two wrote Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade, the true story of Morgan and DeWolf’s three-year, 27-state journey to confront America’s “race problem” together. They visited each other’s families, ancestral towns, court houses, sites of racial terror, cemeteries, plantations and antebellum mansions, seeking to come to terms with the history out of which racism evolved.
Morgan and DeWolf will be at Rochester Institute of Technology on Thursday, Feb. 13 for a book signing and discussion at 1:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Reading Room. They will give a keynote address later the same day, at 6 p.m. in Webb Auditorium, James E. Booth Building. Both events are free and open to students, faculty and staff, and the evening keynote address is open to the general public.
Morgan is the founder of OurBlackAncestry.com, a website devoted to helping people appreciate and explore African American family history and culture. For more than 25 years, she has been researching her family history in Lowndes County, Ala., and Noxubee County, Miss. She is a member of several genealogical associations including the National Genealogical Society, the African American Historical and Genealogical Society and local societies in the geographic areas of her research. Professionally, Morgan is a marketing communications consultant and founder of the National Black Public Relations Society.
DeWolf travels extensively throughout the United States speaking at colleges, universities, and conferences, and leading workshops and trainings for groups dedicated to social justice. He is the author of Inheriting the Trade: A Northern Family Confronts Its Legacy as the Largest Slave-Trading Dynasty in U.S. History. He wrote about traveling with nine distant relatives on a life-altering journey through Rhode Island, Ghana, and Cuba to film the Emmy-nominated documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, in which he is featured. An Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival, the film premiered on national television on the acclaimed PBS series P.O.V.
The event is sponsored by RIT’s Center for Campus Life and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Contact Stephanie Paredes, manager, multicultural student life, for more information or questions about the event, by phone at 585-475-6918, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .