“Payne-ful” Business: Charleston's Journey to Truth follows Margaret Seidler's mission to learn and process her family's genealogical past. Using extensive research and personal experience, Seidler discusses the realities of Charleston's racial history while highlighting the historians, journalists, and community members who work to reconcile those truths. The book features authentic, historic slave advertisements brought to life by vivid paintings by artist John W. Jones that uncover the humanity hidden beneath the detached advertisement descriptions. Seidler hopes that acknowledging a more complete truth about our past will motivate us to bridge today’s racial divide.

About the Author

Margaret Seidler is a retired Organization & Leadership Development consultant, national conference speaker, and author. Her book, Power Surge: Energizing your Leadership Strengths, was published by HRD Press, 2008. Her practice focused on creating higher performance in leaders and in addressing local government and community system complexity.


"It is rare and good news when a family that helped to perpetrate the slave trade tries to measure, and own, the human ruin that it spread. Margaret Seidler seeks a personal reckoning in her book, whose story joins a scarce dialogue and aims to deliver a modicum of justice."

Edward Ball, author of Slaves in the Family and Life of a Klansman

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