Descendants of Slaves and Slave Owners Offer Inspiring Challenge to Usher in Racial Healing for Our Nation
DALLAS, August 13, 2018 – Authors Will Ford, a black descendant of slaves, and Matt Lockett, a white descendant of slave owners, share their inspiring narrative in an effort to encourage readers to take part in healing our nation’s racial divide in the new book, The Dream King: How the Dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. Is Being Fulfilled to Heal Racism in America, releasing Aug. 28, 2018.
Ford and Lockett’s story of discovering a deep ancestral connection is beyond coincidental. Rather, it is one only God, whom the authors refer to as the “Dream King,” could have orchestrated.
“Will and I have to believe that God waited to reveal our shared history, knowing that it would have maximum impact on the racial tension and unrest our nation is facing right now,” writes Lockett.
The authors’ interwoven story is tied together by a series of dreams God gave Ford and Lockett to help them understand their past and their future, and fulfills Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream that “one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.”
Their narrative begins with Ford’s family kettle. Used not only for everyday cooking and washing clothes, the kettle became a tool for Ford’s enslaved family to muffle their secret prayers for the freedom of future generations. As Ford learned of this historical and spiritual relevance, he realized he not only inherited a kettle as a memorial from the past, but also a calling to pray for revival today that will impact future generations.
Ford began traveling the nation sharing of his family’s kettle prayers and on Jan. 17, 2005, he spoke at an event Lockett also attended. It was here, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the same place where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous I Have A Dream speech, where Ford and Lockett’s journey first intersected.
After discovering the similarities in their families’ history, the two struck up a deep friendship. When they dove deeper into each other’s life, they made a startling discovery: It was Lockett’s family who had owned Ford’s praying slave ancestors.
“My point of view in all this dramatically changed when it was revealed that it was actually my family who owned Will’s family,” Lockett writes. “Suddenly, I had to process the reality of that history in a very personal way. I could feel the shame associated with it because now it had a face—one that I knew and loved. I found myself in a moment of confrontation with the wrongs of the past, and a response was being demanded from me.”
As the two friends reconciled with their families’ history, they discovered new, remarkable details that confirmed the opportunity to restore the past and change their future legacies.
“The wrongs of the past are already done, and they can’t be undone. However, the Dream King reserves the right to take what the enemy meant for evil and use it for good,” writes Ford. “The spirit of hate and rage would have white and black destroy each other in an uninterrupted climax of human tragedy, but God is releasing his great mercy strategy right now that can bring healing to history’s hemorrhaging wounds.”
The narrative told in The Dream King exposes systemic injustice and delivers new keys for understanding the nation's past, present and future. Ultimately, The Dream King encourages and equips readers to be a countercultural dreamer and take part in becoming the change our nation needs.
“Our shared focus is on connecting to God’s storyline of healing for our nation by praying together at the table of brotherhood,” Ford writes. “Our earnest prayer is that another unconditional surrender would come to this nation again.”
The Dream King includes a foreword by internationally recognized author, teacher and conference speaker Dutch Sheets and is endorsed by Dr. Alveda King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, Lou Engle of The Call, Bishop Harry Jackson of The Reconciled Church and Bill Johnson of Bethel Church, among others. The book releases Aug. 28, 2018. For additional information, visit dreamstreamcompany.com.
About Will Ford
Will Ford III is the Director of the Marketplace Leadership Major at Christ For The Nations Institute in Dallas and leads 818 The Sign with his wife Dehavilland. In addition to The Dream King, Ford is co-author of History Makers: Your Prayers Have the Power to Heal the Past and Shape the Future with Dutch Sheets. Ford and Dehavilland have four children and live in Dallas, Texas.
About Matt Lockett
Matt Lockett is the Executive Director of the Justice House of Prayer (JHOP) DC located right on Capitol Hill in Washington. He regularly travels and speaks on the topics of prayer, fasting and governmental intercession, and also oversees Bound4LIFE International. In addition to The Dream King, Lockett is co-author of Prayer that Impacts the World: A Study Guide for Developing a Culture of Contending Prayer.