SUTURING THE WOUNDS

A SPATE OF BOOKS AND FILM TAKES ON SLAVERY'S LEGACY

Edward Ball drives along Sullivan's Island, a spit of beach across the bay from Charleston, S.C., savoring his childhood. There is the clapboard house where he lived until he was 12. Here is the elementary school. "Had my first dance with a girl there," he says. The reverie ends when Ball walks to the end of a pier where the sulfur smell of marsh grass rises, as rank as the tale he unspools. An estimated 40% of American slaves arrived first at this spot. Confused, terrified, usually sick, they spent two weeks quarantined in "pest houses" or onboard ship. Those who...

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