Inheriting the Trade
A Northern Family Confronts Its Legacy as the Largest Slave-Trading Dynasty in U.S. History

Inheriting the Trade is the story of Thomas Norman DeWolf’s experiences during the making of the Emmy-nominated, PBS documentary film Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, in which he is featured. Read the story of the journey ten people embarked upon to retrace the steps of their slave-trading ancestors through the notorious Triangle Trade from New England to Ghana and Cuba and back. On the surface, Inheriting the Trade is a story about the legacy of slavery and how it continues to impact relationships among people of different races today. By digging deeper, readers will see the connections between racism, sexism, religious intolerance, gender discrimination, and oppression along class, age, and other lines. Inheriting the Trade is an invitation. As you read about the journey that our Family of Ten took, you are invited you to examine your own life, how you walk in the world, how you perceive yourself, how others perceive you, and the impact it has on you and those around you.

Special Discount Option

You can order Inheriting the Trade directly from the publisher, Beacon Press, to receive a 20% discount and free shipping, PLUS Beacon will donate 10% from each order to Coming to the Table, the non-profit with which Tom has been involved since its founding in 2006. CTTT provides leadership, resources, and a supportive environment for all who wish to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism that is rooted in the United States’ history of slavery. Simply enter the promotional code CTTT at checkout.

Also available at Amazon, your local bookstore, or listen to the audio book version, read by the author.

Tom DeWolf’s deeply personal story, of his own journey as well as his family’s, is required reading for anyone interested in reconciliation. Healing from our historic wounds, that continue to separate us, requires us to walk this road together.”

Myrlie Evers-Williams

Civil Rights Leader, NAACP Chair Emeritus, Author of The Autobiography of Medgar Evers, Watch Me Fly, and For Us The Living

A candid, powerful, and insightful book about how one family dealt with the infamous slave trade. Jarring in its candor, and revealing in its honest assessment of slavery and the DeWolf family, we must read important books like this if we dare to appreciate every aspect of our history and, as the DeWolf family does, dare to change our judgments about the wretched history of slavery.”

Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr.

Executive Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School

“Inheriting the Trade is a compelling invitation to explore how our country and many institutions, including churches, benefited from this dark chapter. Such exploration is essential if we are to move forward to a place of repair and racial reconciliation.”

Rt. Rev. Frank T. Griswold

25th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church