Viewing: slavery

Oct 12

October 12, 2015

Birthrights and Wrongs

I’m heading south and east this week to dig into some family history, the in-person research I can do only in person in Alabama. I’ll be staying in Jasper, with forays into Birmingham and down to Alexander City and Hackneyville. Part of the research will be digging into libraries and part will be driving around to see the environs where my forebears were slaveholders. I’ve found what I could find on Ancestry.com and at my local library; I have looked through…

Posted in Alabama, family, History, slavery, summer, Travel, work, writing | By

Aug 9

August 9, 2015

Writing as Though I Had Wings

I’ve come to that cross-road in a writer’s life where she has to choose between writing what she wants and writing what earns her bread. It might even be one of those modern five-way stoplights where several roads merge and one must decide whether to turn gently to the right, to join the path ahead, or — most alarming of all — veer to the left and go against the traffic, hoping for a break in the rush to slip…

Posted in authors, Books, family, History, quotables, random, research, slavery, Travel, work, writing | By

Jun 29

June 29, 2015

Because I Haven’t Known What to Say

Because the events of the past week — the horrific shooting deaths of nine African-Americans in a Charleston church by a young white racist, and the — maybe — final straw that will bring down the Confederate battle flag, and bring the longed-for change, I am trying to say — Because when we were children, in the extremely white liberal suburbs of Marin County in the late 1960s, we used to say, “Eenie meenie miney mo, catch a nigger by…

Posted in family, My World and Welcome to It, slavery, The World as We Know It | By

Jun 21

June 21, 2015

Fishing for stories

I spent Saturday digging through old newspapers to see what frolics my great-grandmother was up to as president of the Daughters of the Confederacy in Portland, Oregon, 100 years ago. Let’s just say there plenty of genteel hijinks that involved white women doing the Virginia Reel, reading nostalgic poetry in “slave dialect” and guest speakers telling “many clever darky stories.” Can you tell I died a little bit inside when I read that? I did a lot of family research…

Posted in Catching Up, family, research, slavery, The Doris Diaries, work | By