Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream that "the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood." As daughters, Betty Kilby Baldwin and Phoebe Kilby found a way to live Dr. King's dream. They will tell you their story of discovering their family connections and embarking on a path toward reconciliation and reparation. You will learn about ways that you too can reach across the racial divide, whether or not your family has connections to slavery. The class will draw on lessons from their 2021 book Cousins: Connected Through Slavery, a Black Woman and a White Woman Discover Their Past and Each Other.
Dr. Betty Kilby Fisher Baldwin grew up in rural Virginia. Thanks to her father's determination, she entered and graduated from Warren County High School after suing the school board, based on the landmark Supreme Court Brown vs. Board of Education decision of 1954. Later in life, she documented her experiences and published her autobiography, Wit, Will & Walls. Betty has an M.B.A. and an Honorary Doctorate from Shenandoah University. She has presented her story in many venues, including the University of Virginia's 2013 Conference on Virginia Universities and their Race Histories.
Phoebe Kilby grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, knowing nothing of her cousin Betty Kilby Fisher Baldwin. After obtaining a B.S. in Botany and Master of Environmental Management from Duke University, she had a long career as an urban and environmental planner. Later, Phoebe went back to school to obtain a degree in Conflict Transformation from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University. In 2006, she discovered the Coming to the Table movement and was inspired to research her family's participation in slavery. Through this research, discovered her cousin Betty. She and Betty have presented their remarkable story across the U.S. and have served as guest speakers in various universities, conference settings, and to OLLI programs across the country.
- A current OLLI membership is required to register for all courses and lectures.
- If you do not have a current Spring 2022 membership, one will be added to your cart at check-out.
- OLLI membership fees and course tuition are critical to the Institute’s sustainability and are non-refundable.