I was excited to open The Baltimore Sun and see my friends Betty Kilby Baldwin and Phoebe Kilby on the front page in the article by Johnathan M. Pitts (“A Baltimore woman’s family enslaved another’s ancestors. Now they’re joining forces to erase barriers of race,” Oct. 24). I met Betty and Phoebe through Coming to the Table (CTTT), an organization to which we all belong. I was disappointed that Mr. Pitts did not mention that Betty and Phoebe are part of CTTT. They undertake their work in conjunction with CTTT and there are local affiliate groups of CTTT that people can join in Baltimore City and Annapolis, Harford and Montgomery counties. I mention the latter because people interested in doing the work that Betty and Phoebe are doing can do so by joining one of these groups and one of the many other groups tackling systemic racism.
Readers might be interested in knowing that I found out about Coming to the Table by reading an article in The Sun (“150 years since Md. outlawed slavery,” Feb. 14, 2014) by Frederick Rasmussen. The article mentioned that authors Tom DeWolf and Sharon Morgan would be discussing their book, “Gather at the Table The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade” at Harford County Community College later that month. I attended the book reading, heard about CTTT and joined the organization the next day.
Coming to the Table’s mission is to “provide leadership, resources and a supportive environment for all who wish to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism that is rooted in the United States’ history of slavery.” It was founded by descendants of both enslavers and enslaved people. It was inspired by the vision of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who said in his 1963 March on Washington speech: “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.”
I hope readers will follow Betty and Phoebe’s example, read more about them in their enlightening and inspiring book, “Cousins: Connected Through Slavery, a Black Woman and a White Woman Discover Their Past — And Each Other.” They might then join CTTT and help us work on “Taking America Beyond the Legacy of Enslavement (TABLE).”
Lynda Davis, Linthicum
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