Melvin Snoddy of Longview has researched his family history for 27 years. Every two years his family has a reunion, many looking over old photos and papers from the days their ancestors were slaves. This year Snoddy wanted to invite someone special, a member of the family that owned his family.
"My great great grandfather had a best friend same age, the slave owners son," says Snoddy. Snoddy found a direct descendant of the family that owned his great great grandfather Thaddius Snoddy. Don Irwyn is the great grand nephew of a slave owner was invited to the reunion.
"Found out this information he made contact with him everyone is going to be elated to meet him," said Troy Michigan resident Leo Snoddy. Thaddius Snoddy was a slave on a Smith county plantation and was freed by emancipation in 1865. Snoddy's research shows that Thad and the slave owners son Tommy were best friends.
Some worried about the hurt and resentment over the mere issue of slavery, but Snoddy says this meeting is an act of love, and a new beginning between two families.
"And I see myself as my great great grandfather Thad, and I see Don as Tommy and after 139 years my old friend is coming back," says Snoddy. The two had a short meeting, but one that could be a lesson for all people.
"We're just one family now as far as I can see," says Snoddy.