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Author of Wit, Will & Walls and Cousins featured in Netflix Documentary Stories of a Generation with Pope Francis

Betty and Phoebe signing “Cousins”

Two women from very different backgrounds living Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream and inspiring audience around the world.

I highly recommend this amazing story of racial reconciliation”

— Leymah Gbowee

CONROE, TEXAS, UNITED STATES, February 2, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Dr. Betty Kilby Baldwin grew up in rural Warren County, Virginia. She was thirteen when she sued the Warren County School Board based on the landmark Supreme Court Brown vs. Board of Education decision of 1954. The governor of Virginia closed her school and three other Virginia schools rather than comply with Judge Simon E. Sabeloff’s ruling to allow little Black boys and girls and little White boys and girls to go to school together. Betty’s case prevailed and brought about the first integration of schools in Virginia. Betty went on to achieve higher education. She started her employment as a factory worker and climbed the corporate ladder to achieve executive management employment. After she retired, she wrote and published her autobiography, Wit, Will & Walls.

While promoting “Wit, Will & Walls,” Betty was contacted by Phoebe Kilby, a descendent of the Kilby’s that once owned her ancestors. Phoebe challenged Betty to live Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream that “the sons and daughters of former slaves and former slave owners will be able to sit down at the table of brotherhood.” They joined and helped create the framework for a group called Coming to the Table, a movement focused on racial reconciliation through honest truth-telling, deep connection, genuine forgiveness and sincere actions to make amends for the harms of slavery and its legacies. They started with speaking about their connection, doing research and taking classes together. In 2019, Walnut Street Book Publishing asked them to document their story. Betty was traveling in her RV while Phoebe was in Ashville NC. Miles apart, they joined forces and wrote the highly acclaimed book, Cousins: Connected through slavery, A Black woman and a White woman discover their past and each other. Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee endorsed the book: “I highly recommend this amazing story of racial reconciliation” The two women have created a reparations project that funds scholarships for descendants of Betty’s enslaved ancestors. They believe, “education is the key to making the future more reconciled.”

Betty and Phoebe, along with several other pioneers from elsewhere in the world, are included in Episode 2 entitled “Dreams” of the Netflix series, bookended by interviews with Pope Francis. Betty and Phoebe’s segment of the Netflix series takes place in Virginia in and around Warren County highlighting Betty’s experience in integrating her high school. They also journey to Rappahannock County at the farm where Phoebe’s ancestors enslaved Betty’s ancestors.

For more information see www.bettykilby.com or contact me at 817-798-2111.

Betty Kilby Baldwin
Kilby Baldwin Ministries
+1 817-798-2111
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