Most black people in America have come to terms with the fact that, if they look back far enough in their family history, they will find at least one slave. This is an unfortunate but undeniable result of this country’s often disreputable past. It’s also true that many white Americans can find slave ownership in their history, but this fact is less frequently discussed. Edward Ball’s family owned nearly 4,000 slaves between 1698 and 1865. Rather than disassociate himself from the tragic practice, Ball wrote a book about it. Many blacks were angry with Ball or confused by his agenda. Whites, including his own family, found Ball’s indictment of long-dead slave owners unwarranted. No one knows why Edward Ball feels so personally accountable, but regardless, the book is for sale, and 25 percent of the profits will be used to pay reparations to the families of former slaves. Guilt is not always a bad thing. Ball discusses and signs copies of Slaves in the Family at 7:30 p.m. at Borders, 5871 Crossroads Center Way, Baileys Crossroads. Free. (703) 998-0404. (Neil Drumming)