I read Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball five years ago and still think of it from time to time. I would expect many readers whose ancestors lived in the American South to think about it from time to time and wonder.
Edward Ball is a descendant of the Ball family of Charleston, South Carolina, a family that lived in the city in its early colonial days. Being prominent and landed, the Balls owned slaves - hundreds of them. They also married into families that shipped slaves from Africa and sold them in slave auctions in the city. It is an ancestory that the author regrets. After doing family and historical research, Ball began tracking down and meeting some of the descendants of his family's slaves. While not all were glad to meet him, some pulled out all their old pictures and Bibles and told family stories. The author learned more than he expected.
Though Slaves in the Family is a big book, 504 pages, it is hard to put down. You may read it quickly. I highly recommend it.
Ball, Edward. Slaves in the Family. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998. ISBN 0374265828