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White Author Reflects On Finding, Bringing Together Descendants Of Enslaved People In His Family11:02
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Edward Ball and Carolyn Goodson in Charleston, South Carolina. (Courtesy)
Edward Ball and Carolyn Goodson in Charleston, South Carolina. (Courtesy)

In this moment of racial reckoning, many white Americans are asking: "What role did I play?"

Edward Ball began that soul searching about 30 years ago. It took him six years to research and write the 1998 historical memoir "Slaves in the Family" chronicling his family's participation in the slave trade, and dispelling the family myth that they were "good slave owners."

After the book's release Ball felt he needed more than an account. He needed to apologize — and decided to bring his Black and white descendants together to do so.

Host Robin Young, who produced the story for Good Morning America, made the trip with Ball. Today, Ball, whose new book is "Life of a Klansman," joins Young to reflect on his family's past and what it means going forward.

Jacqueline Ball, right, and her daughter, LaShawn McGhee in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. (Courtesy)
Jacqueline Ball, right, and her daughter, LaShawn McGhee in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. (Courtesy)

This segment aired on August 10, 2020.

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