Imagine taking a road trip to the land of your ancestors accompanied by a living descendant of the slave traders of your former enslaved ancestors. Your purpose? To see if you can resolve generations of wounds and find healing.
Sharon Leslie Morgan, a renowned writer, genealogist, and innovator in multicultural marketing and communications gave a keynote address at RootsTech Connect 2021, a free global online event celebrating families.
Sharon’s fascinating personal story, a lifetime promoting African American family history, and exceptional insight into STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) provide relevant and timely skills for addressing racial conflict in society today. View her insightful keynote address online at RootsTech Connect.
Who Is Sharon Leslie Morgan?
A native of Chicago, Sharon has traveled extensively; she has lived in South Africa, Jamaica, and Paris. She has created businesses, worked as a marketing consultant, and forged relationships in the genealogical community. Sharon is also a partner in FamilySearch’s Reclaiming Our African Roots project.
African American genealogy has always been Sharon’s passion. She’s the founder of OurBlackAncestry (OBA), an online community dedicated to providing resources for African American genealogical research and is a contributor to numerous blogs, websites, and publications.
Her accolades are many, including the James Dent Walker Award, the highest award of AAHGS (Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society), in 2019 for “outstanding accomplishments in research, documentation, and preservation of African American history.”
Currently, Sharon resides in Mississippi, not far from the place where her enslaved ancestors lived. The decision to move to her ancestral home has given her an opportunity to explore more of her roots and to begin writing her own history with a fresh perspective.
Using Genealogy to Heal
Sharon is the coauthor of a book titled Gather at the Table:The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade. The book contrasts her history as a descendant of the enslaved, with that of Thomas Norman DeWolf, a descendant of one of the most prominent slave trading dynasties of the past.
Together, Sharon and Thomas journeyed through 27 states. They visited courthouses, cemeteries, monuments, and plantations where enslaved Africans were brokered, lived, and endured unspeakable hardships. The pair followed the slave trail all the way back to the west coast of Ghana, a prominent entry point for thousands of captives bound for the New World. The resulting book presents a model for steps to reconciliation and healing for wounds past and present.