“We need our children to learn about the full American story and we need them to know it’s okay for our history to be messy.” -- Daina Ramey Berry
Pam & Ann Bios
Besides differing in color, Pam is 20 years younger than Ann and straight, while Ann is lesbian; Pam lives in Virginia, Ann in California. They share a lifelong commitment to work toward racial justice.
Pam Smith is a public historian who has spent most of her career advancing agendas in politics
and government for marginalized groups, including serving as press liaison for Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama. She has unearthed stories of enslaved people in a variety of settings,
including as research consultant at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest plantation in Bedford County, Virginia, and at Richmond Hill where she lives, a residential community and historic monastery and urban retreat center in Richmond, Virginia. As a certified trainer in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s approach to nonviolent conflict reconciliation, Smith has trained numerous students, teachers, activists and community leaders in nonviolent social change.
Our Entangled Lives
E. Ann Neel is a professor emerita of sociology and women studies who pioneered in creating courses in women’s history, slavery, and Jim Crow, both in Sonoma County, California and at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where she taught for 26 years. Through family history projects, her students have explored the impact of relations of power, such as colonization, racism, class conflict, and patriarchy on their families over time. Her work emphasizes the on-going consequences of major social institutions repressing the long history of white settlement and slavery in this country. Neel is also a co-founder of the Lesbian Archives of Sonoma County.