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Hidden Family History Forced Me To Confront African Complicity In Slavery

One hot summer afternoon, in the final throes of editing my memoir Coconut, a question that only my mother could answer popped into my mind. I reached for the phone. Half an hour later, I sat stunned by the bombshell my mother had casually dropped into the conversation.

According to her, everything I had been told about a part of my ancestry was a lie. My first instinct was to question whether I heard her right. In the end, unwilling to process its ramifications, I ignored the revelation, deep as I was in the editing process.