Courtesy of Nkrumah Steward
"This is about history. This is about family. There is nothing he can do or I can do that can change the fact that I have relatives who may have died on that plantation."
What would you do if you, the descendant of a slave, dined next to the descendant of those who once owned your family on the very land where 181 years before, your family wasn’t free?
For two men, Nkrumah Steward and Robert Adams, this was their reality.
The cousins—yes blood-related cousins—dined side by side with their respective families around the dinner table on the South Carolina property where the Adams family once kept Steward’s enslaved.
Steward documented the surreal and indeed life-changing experience on Facebook.
“Tonight my family and I were dinner guests at Wavering Place, an old plantation founded in 1768 near Hopkins, South Carolina where four generations of my grandmothers lived and worked as slaves when they were emancipated in 1865,” he wrote. “The reason I was there tonight was because 181 years ago, in 1835, Joel Robert Adams and my 4th great grandmother, one of his slaves, Sarah Jones Adams had a daughter, Louisa. Louisa had Octavia. Octavia had James. James had my grandfather JD. JD had my mother Linda. And now 181 years later, after almost two centuries, my mother and father, my two sons, my wife and myself sat down in that very house and broke bread with the descendant of those who owned members of my family. We are cousins by blood. And tonight we took the first steps together towards also becoming friends.”
Steward told ABC News that he didn’t harbor any ill feelings towards Adams for the simple fact that what happened in the past, was neither one of their doings.
“This was not about the past,” he said. “Robert is a descendant of people who owned my family. He didn’t own anybody. I am a descendant of slaves of that his family owned. I have never been a slave. This is about history. This is about family. There is nothing he can do or I can do that can change the fact that I have relatives who may have died on that plantation. This was about seeing a physical place that my relatives walked, regardless of the condition.”
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