Wednesday Open Thread | Happy July 4th

Hope that you are enjoying this July 4th with family and friends.

Today’s article is about one of the Founding Fathers – one who wrote the Declaration of Independence…
America’s original sin- SLAVERY.

New Monticello exhibit takes a closer look at Sally Hemings, slavery and the healing power of truth
The exhibit is a reminder that white men of wealth and power have long controlled who was considered a citizen in America and who was considered a family.
by Sophia A. Nelson / Jul.01.2018

In an 1873 interview with the Pike County Republican newspaper, Madison Hemings, thesecond son of Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings, told a story. It was a story that would confirm the decades of rumors that had circulated since Jefferson ran for president in 1801.

Madison Hemings began his recollection of his parent’s taboo relationship with these words:

“But during that time (in Paris) my mother became Mr. Jefferson’s concubine, and when he was called back home she was [pregnant] by him. He desired to bring my mother back to Virginia with him, but she demurred. She was just beginning to understand the French language well, and in France she was free, while if she returned to Virginia she would be re-enslaved. So, she refused to return with him. To induce her to do so he promised her extraordinary privileges and made a solemn pledge that her children should be freed at the age of twenty-one years. In consequence of his promise, on which she implicitly relied, she returned with him to Virginia.”

On June 16, 2018, at Thomas Jefferson’s ancestral home, Monticello, descendants of Hemings and Jefferson reunited to help unveil, among other important exhibits, the newly discovered living quarters of Hemings and her children.

It was an important moment for Monticello, which has embarked on a 25-year-long project to reinterpret and update its historical spaces to be more inclusive and honest about the people who lived and were enslaved there. But there is also something very timely about the exhibit given the current political climate.

As we debate the immigration and border crisis in Texas right now, we are reminded that this is not the first time in American history that children have been separated from their parents, treated inhumanely, or even caged.

This anecdote from Madison Hemings’ memoirs, read by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon Reed at the unveiling, underscores that larger and important truth. “We were always allowed to be with our mother,” Reed read.

There was a hush of silence as she shared those words, because everyone understood that Sally Hemings had “negotiated” with Jefferson, as a 16-year-old teenage girl, not only for freedom for each of their children, but also for what Madison called “extraordinary” privileges that other slave women did not have. One of these privileges was having her children near her and with her all of the time. She also ensured that her children would never be sold away from her, something every slave woman knew was a possibility.

Read the rest of the article at the link.

This entry was posted in Native Americans, Open Thread, Politics, Slavery and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Happy July 4th

  1. Today Jay asked me if we were having dressing? I said no, we’re having barbecue. He said awl, can you make me some? bwa ha ha ha ha


  2. Like

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  7. Our little sweetie pie…………..


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  12. Ametia says:

    SG2, remember me when you’re grilling all that delicious FOOD.


  13. Ametia says:

    Where is Yahtzee? WE MISS YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ametia says:

    THE 4TH OF JULY IN America & this country has the most overtly RACIST FAKE 45


  15. Ametia says:

    11 Black Cookout Commandments Just In Case Y’all Don’t Know How To Act This July 4th

    1. Thou shall not have a cookout if thou has no grill.


  16. Ametia says:


  17. Ametia says:

    Liked by 1 person

  18. rikyrah says:

    Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) Tweeted:
    MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was stunned as he listened to EPA whistleblower, Kevin Chmielewski, detail how EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is robbing the taxpayers blind.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ametia says:

    Word of the Day : July 4, 2018

    Pyrotechnics play
    noun pye-ruh-TEK-niks

    1 singular or plural in construction : the art of making or the manufacture and use of fireworks
    2 a : a display of fireworks
    b : a spectacular display (as of extreme virtuosity)

    Liked by 1 person

  20. rikyrah says:

    Liked by 2 people

  21. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😄😄😄


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