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Virtual Book Talk: Reclamation: Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson, and a Descendant’s Search for Her Family’s Lasting Legacy
December 6, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Join the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in conversation with author Gayle Jessup White, as she discusses her book, Reclamation: Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson, and a Descendant’s Search for Her Family’s Legacy.
A Black descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings’ family explores America’s racial reckoning through the prism of her ancestors—both the enslaver and the enslaved. Gayle Jessup White had long heard the stories passed down from her father’s family, that they were direct descendants of Thomas Jefferson—lore she firmly believed, though others did not. For four decades the acclaimed journalist and genealogy enthusiast researched her connection to Thomas Jefferson, to confirm its truth once and for all. In Reclamation she chronicles her remarkable journey to definitively understand her heritage and reclaim it, and offers a compelling portrait of what it means to be a black woman in America, to pursue the American dream, to reconcile the legacy of racism, and to ensure the nation lives up to the ideals advocated by her legendary ancestor.
Gayle Jessup White is the Public Relations & Community Engagement Officer at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s legendary estate. A former award-winning television reporter and anchor, Jessup White started her career at the New York Times. She’s written and spoken extensively about her work at Monticello. She is a direct Jefferson descendant, and is also related to two well-documented families enslaved at Monticello—the Hemingses and the Hubbards. She lives in Virginia.
In conjuction to Bodies of Information: Understanding Slavery through the Stearns Collection.
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