Sun 13 Apr, 2008
Tags: Boston, Charles Ogletree
For readers in the Boston area, Tom DeWolf will be appearing at the Harvard Coop tomorrow to promote his book, Inheriting the Trade: A Northern Family Confronts Its Legacy as the Largest Slave-Trading Dynasty in U.S. History.
Tom is a D’Wolf descendant who participated in the journey to retrace our ancestors’ slaving voyages, as chronicled in the documentary Traces of the Trade (airing on PBS on June 24). Tom’s memoir recounts his experience of our family’s exploration of the legacy of slavery, and shares his personal transformation during that time.
Tom is an engaging storyteller, and his words bring each harrowing step of the journey vividly to life. His work is also brutally honest, which I believe allows him to open up genuine dialogue on a topic of remarkable difficulty for our society. In addition, Tom is my seventh cousin, once removed, and I’ll be at the Coop as he discusses the book, reads excerpts, and signs copies.
Professor Charles Ogletree of Harvard Law School (and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice) had this reaction to the book:
“Inheriting the Trade is a candid, powerful and insightful book about how one family dealt with the infamous slave trade. This book is jarring in its candor, and revealing in its honest assessment of slavery and the Dewolf family. We must read important books like this one, if we dare to appreciate every aspect of our history, and as the Dewolf family does, dare to change our judgments about the wretched history of slavery.”
That’s Monday, April 14, at 7:00pm at the Harvard Square Coop, 1400 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, Mass.