The Meaning of the Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation

As Oprah Winfrey and other African Americans have often stated, with the election of Barack Obama, it is finally time for African Americans to embrace their past, and to learn who they are. My research and my book can give the history that would be a building block for a strong today and tomorrow. I tell the stories of my ancestors and 274 African Americans who were enslaved on a tobacco plantation near Nashville. And the stories are the stories of real people based on documents and interviews with descendants. What comes through are stories of survival, of family, and of community. President Obama stated that one of the themes of his inauguration would be “coming together.” My research is an example of that phenomenon. Descendants of the plantation owners shared their photographs and remembrances with me; one of them sponsored some of the many DNA tests I conducted.

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