COUSINS: Connected through slavery, a Black woman and a White woman discover their past–and each other. The authors are Betty Kilby Baldwin and Phoebe Kilby.
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What happens when a White woman, Phoebe, contacts a Black woman, Betty, saying she suspects they are connected through slavery? A surprise. Betty responds, “Hello cousin.”
Open to exploring difficult truths and sharing an admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King, they embark on a path towards reconciliation. Each tells her dramatic story – from Betty’s experience desegregating her county’s only high school to Phoebe’s eventual question to Betty: “How do I begin to repair the harms?”
All authors’ proceeds from sales of the book are donated to the Kilby Family Scholarship Fund, which offers college scholarships to descendants of the people Phoebe’s family enslaved, including Betty’s grandchildren.
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine writes, “I’m very excited about this remarkable book. I hope the experiences of Betty and Phoebe will inspire others to sit down at the table of sisterhood and brotherhood to promote racial healing.”
Nobel Peace Prize Winner Leymah Gbowee loves the book–“I highly recommend this amazing story of racial reconciliation.”
Social justice activist and civil rights attorney Fania Davis agrees–“Cousins is a story that could not be more timely.”
Edward L. Ayers, Professor of History, University of Richmond–“This powerful book weaves together the eloquent stories of two impressive women—stories of survival, determination, and awakening, of honesty, spirituality, and success. They give us a detective story and a mystery, a reconciliation and a celebration. A reader will be grateful for all of them.”