PHOTO COURTESY MARGARET SEIDLER A March 2022 photo of Polly Sheppard, a survivor of the Mother Emanuel AME church shooting, and Seidler on a private tour of the historic Robert Smalls House in Beaufort, SC.

Margaret Seidler thought she was a fifth-generation Charlestonian. She wasn’t. She thought her ancestors were poor. They weren’t. 

Instead, Seidler was stunned to learn her family legacy included prominent slave traders.

More than 9,200 human beings were sold through the business of her ancestor.  

“Rather than just denying the past we should acknowledge the past and acknowledge the history, the facts of the past, and the consequences of the past and how those consequences are still with us,” Seidler said in an interview with The Beacon. “The only way to get to conflict resolution, which is to me is racial harmony in this example, is to actually talk about it and understand it, and then be willing to build relationships across the races based on that understanding.” 

Seidler will speak about her experience at the Fall Festival of the Arts DeLand’s event (in partnership with Stetson University, Volusia Remembers Coalition and the African American Museum of the Arts) on 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 in the Carlton Union Building on Stetson University Campus.


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