Sunday with Friends: Bill Sizemore
Posted February 13th, 2019 in Uncategorized
Sunday with Friends hosts Bill Sizemore, author of “Uncle George and Me: Two Southern Families Confront a Shared Legacy of Slavery.”
Please note: This event is held at the Community Center of Abingdon NOT at the main library. The event was moved because of the renovations at the library.
Journalist and author Sizemore spent eight years researching and writing the story of his slave-owning Virginia ancestors, their slaves, and the descendants of those slaves.
His great-great-great-grandfather was a small-time tobacco farmer in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. In contrast to large planters with hundreds of slaves, he was far more typical: He owned fewer than 20. The book traces the lives of generations of African-Americans who descended from his slaves, up to the present day. In microcosm, it is the story of Virginia and the South from the slavery era through the Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Great Migration, the civil rights era, and the continued racial disparities of our time.
Thousands – if not millions – of American families on both sides of the color line spring from similar roots, but theirs is a seldom told story – perhaps due to a sort of self-induced amnesia, a defense mechanism to avoid confronting a painful past.
This book is an attempt to overcome that amnesia and thereby stimulate a biracial dialogue about slavery and its crippling legacy, which continues to bedevil the nation today.
Sizemore is retired from the Virginian Pilot newspaper in Norfolk, where he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2007, he has written about topics as varied as stage government and politics, the private military contractor Blackwater, the televangelist Pat Robertson and Virginia prison-building boom.
Hosted by the Friends of the Library, book sale/signing follows.