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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  February 10, 2018 11:00pm-12:01am EST

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[inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon and welcome to the william g. mcgowan theater at the national archives. i am the archivist and it's a pleasure to welcome you here, those of you here in the theater and those of you joining on the
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youtube special in and a special welcome to our c-span audience. before we get to today's discussion i would like to let you know about two programs coming up soon. on friday that were 16th at noon professors chris my wrist and george derek musgrove will be here to talk about a tumultuous four century story of race and democracy in washington d.c. yesterday that the soft served as a national battleground for contentious issues including segregation and civil rights of the drug war. after a two-year absence from public view abraham lincoln's original proclamation will be on display in the east rotunda gallery during presidents' day weekend. don't miss this rare pretended to see the original emancipation proclamation. the document will be made available for viewing on february 17 come 18th and
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19th between the hours of 10:00 and 5:30 h. day three to learn more about these and other public programs and exhibits consult our calendar of events on line at there's a table outside where you can sign up to receive e-mail updates. another way to get involved in the national archives is to become member with the national archives sunday should be the foundation supports all of our education and outreach activities. today's program takes a close look at thomas jefferson's three daughters martha and mariah jefferson and harriet hemings and the life of thomas jefferson through their ice. author catherine researching their lives using primary sources including court cases and records of the district courts of the united states in e-books in the records of the government of the district of columbia here at the national
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archives. previous accounts about the hemings family authors such as nick gordon reed. for the first time in jefferson's three daughters a "new york times" book review right harrison's beautifully written book takes the relationships that distance. at "christian science monitor" review, jefferson's daughters brings its period vividly to life the credit to the exhaustive researcher passion for her subject and eloquent writing. she teaches courses in colonial and revolutionary american women's gender history could show the ph.d. in american history from the college of william and mary. she's author of several scholarly articles into books and presented her work in comfort is in the united states and abroad.
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in the course of her research she is one grants and fellowships for more essays and such is the national endowment for the amenities the williamsburg -- humanities the waynesburg society. the first book claiming the pen and intellectual life in the early american south won the outstanding book award from the history of education society in 2007. ladies and gentlemen please welcome catherine garrison. [applause] >> good afternoon and thank you so much for being here. i can't tell you what a pleasure it is for me and how exciting it is for me to be back in washington where i have spent so much of my research to be back in this building where i have
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spent weeks working on this project. it's wonderful to be here and thank you for coming. so i thought what i would do today is to present the first a very brief overview of the book and then what i won't do is zero and on two of the stories that i didn't really ring out in the book and why i think the stories matter for today. thomas jefferson has three daughters martha more than mariah by his wife martha wells jefferson and harriet by sally hemings. in "jefferson's daughters" i recount the journeys of these three very different women and
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how their struggle to define themselves reflect both the possibility and the limitations of the american revolution. as the women shared the same author at commonalities and fair fair. more than mariah received a fine education during their fathers diplomatic post and at that time paris was a hot house of intellectual -- who celebrated. a young martha jefferson met and socialize with. the sisters found their options limited by the laws and customs in the newly independent covenant that their father himself had helped to establish. 12 years after their return from france their half-sister harriet
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hemings was worn and her life would follow a very different path. she would grow up in slavery but leave monticello at age 21 with the assistance of jefferson himself and began a new life free from bondage. she boarded a -- bound for philadelphia with $50 in her pocket and four decidedly uncertain prospects. their lives provide a think a unique vantage point from which to examine the complicated legacy of the american revolution itself and i wrote this book to show how their richly over -- woven stories shed new light on the challenges we still face in this nation today for the ongoing movement
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towards human rights as well as the light it sheds on the personal and political legacy of one of our most controversial founding fathers. so today i thought i would open up the story of martha, the oldest and harriet, the youngest youngest. born in 1772 was 10 years old when her mother died. she was a witness to jefferson's companion when he traveled to france in 1784 so the young martha learned early in life complete devotion to her father. she was barely 12 years old when her father placed her in an elite convent school. there is one view from the
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courtyard and just a partial view. this entire building is the length of two football fields so it gives you an idea of the size. so this is again from the inner courtyard and martha the day that her father dropped her off at this school, they would have ventured through doors that are concealed behind this bush but mother superior's offices were up here and there's the gorgeous staircase that takes you to the mother superior's office. this is from the street view, not quite as impressive but this is the roman catholic chapel and which martha would attend services. it was one of the most fashionable schools in paris and
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the most expensive. they are an all-female community headed by the aristocratic and devoted to the girls life martha would have experience of a lifetime. she quickly learned french, dove into her studies and gossip with friends and the chaperoned pleasures of life in paris at the height of the women's influence. remember they arrived in paris in august of 1784. they leave in september of 1789 so two months to the crowd stormed the gates of the bastille. she gossiped about politics, ideas about love and marriage and a wayward classmates who
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quote told me today of her in the eton boys wanted their confidence confessed really shocked me. deep thoughts and small pre-occupied her. she desperately wished that slavery would cease. she implored her father for an advance on her allowance. her lively intelligence and by cassidy won her many friends. the portrait of a young girl painted with her vivid memory bounding down the stairs for steps at a time in her coffee stained apron reporting on the shifting alliances as students moved in and out of the convent school. receiving a salute as he entered paris to quell revolutionary unrest.
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all of these really are a contrast with the stately portrait of the matron. this portrait was done in philadelphia about a year and a half before she died. years later she would regale her children with stories and remark repeatedly that they were the happiest years of her life. it was an experience i'm convinced that shaped her vision of female education for her own daughters a vision that deviated markedly from that which her father had -- upon her. before her departure for france martha followed the traditional curriculum for elite girls in 18th century america music, dancing a bit of reading and writing.
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this jefferson jefferson said would be sufficient preparation for protecting your family fortune. things were different. there are martha was interested in jack a free history arithmetic and modern languages. she lived deeply in french literature attended the oprah the theater socialized at the palace royale. this is a print from 1784. it was so named because one of the king's relatives found that he couldn't afford to live in it it. then enclose it in one of the most beautiful places in paris and then within all these --
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with shops and restaurants. this is the place to go in paris particularly on sunday. she made friends with the french aristocracy and the english diplomats. after a time she was indistinguishable. when her sponsor their which you need a reference to get in, not recognizing on the playground one day who she was she replied she is a very distinguished air. one of her english friends even called her your ladyship. this young growth had come a long way after five years of schooling. that's probably why jefferson --
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before she could be swept off her feet like a young french aristocrat. she was 17 when they returned to monticello in 1789. two months later she married thomas randolph. after her glory years in paris martha tried to make the most of the isolation as a virginia planter's wife. over the course of 28 years she bore 11 surviving children. at jefferson's retirement in 1999 she moved back to monticello to live with him and devoted herself to his comfort. she identified with his intellectual life with the pursuit of the life of the mind and she devoted herself to educating her children and particularly her daughters to do the same. so how might education be
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re-envisioned in the early republic particularly when one has enjoyed the advantage is of the best all-female academy in paris and when one is the daughter of one of the chief architects of the american republic. but started to be the challenge was to architecture that monticello suggests. this photo i'm sure many of you have seen. this is taken from jefferson's library looking through another round and then into his cabinet into a his study. jefferson became very enamored of the idea of a -- when he was in europe. so compare this three room apartment devoted to monticello.
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with this room that is not quite 15 feet square where martha managed the household gave directions to slaves and taught her own 11 children. but martha's daughters give us the best sense of the complex ways of martha and her daughters tried to answer that question about female education and refuse to be bound by the gender limitations. in their letters we can see both martha's lofty dreams to give her daughters the finest education in america, that is to teach them that women do where rational angst who could strive. against those lofty dreams were the earthly realities and this is really clear in their laments about the wasted time spent
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carrying a cheese in their words. that is when it was their turn to manage the monthly housekeeping chores. martha's daughter in virginia could find time to write to her sister after one of the most troublesome months of housekeeping i ever had. she carried the keys. cornelia the most artistic of martha's daughters remind her quote books covered with unmolested dust and doors locked and never opened. we see dreams and reality in the search for a quiet place to read it on a cello which of course during jefferson's retirement became a magnet for all manner
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of -- invited and otherwise. virginia is seeking out a place where visitors wouldn't find her. she climbs up to the dorm room. when you open that door there's a three-foot drop into this attic space. so she talks about converting this attic space that she shared to a room of her own. a couple of cushions and a couple of castoff chairs and a table it was for her a palace. this is her palace. monticello has since furnished with some furnishings to try to imagine what she might have done
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done. she didn't intend to yield to anything except perhaps the formidable rats that she occasionally cited. the influence in her daughter's curriculum is. martha had learned french spanish and italian but she wouldn't deprive for girls of latin just because they were not male and it's through her daughters letters that we can see this. when she was 23 lm recalled her visits to her grandfather's retreat in the forest and hear she ambled from room to room with savoring memories of when she had been able to spend seven
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to eight under drafted hours on their latin. allen swore i would never again tolerated translation. the difference between the original and john dryden's translation she likened to that between a class of rich high flavor to whine and the same wine thrown into accord duck water. indeed trips and i have to contrast again jefferson does the same thing in poplar forest that he does it marchella which is to say though this room here is south facing and gets gorgeous sunlight the girl shared a bedroom on the east facing side.
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here is chairpersons sunday reading room. the trips to poplar farms were the closest that martha's daughters would come to realizing what they would dream of the 1929. a place into which the world is doing with its demands on women could not intrude a place for the intellectual life. martha had attempted to widen considerably the founders of female education and jefferson's perfect confidence in her ability to educate herself in the privacy of his own home would certainly justify the admiration and praise of all of the visitors to monticello. but lacking any public expression of what could martha jefferson randolph hope leave
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for the world? very little her daughter ellen said tearfully just three years after martha died in 1836. she has passed away. she is left in the recollection of her friends and the hearts of her children. a few short years and perhaps all records and all remembrance of her name and her qualities will be gone. for all that martha jefferson randolph was, for all her learning and all that was within herself she was invisible to the world. her brilliance confined to the 15 square-foot sitting room that her father had designed. martha was left destitute. your education, brilliant minded
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manner and her famous connections all insufficient defenses against the vagaries. her story serves as a cautionary tale today i think of the benefits and the perils for women of relying on men even wealthy, well-intentioned men for their life's meaning and livelihood. ultimately martha could not and did not regret the roll into which she was born. harriet hemings who was born in 1801 did and she reinvented herself on the best plan that she could as a freeborn white women and her story opened up an entirely different avenue of investigation and narrative. i just want to show you a much
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simplified family tree. here is john wiles at the top of it. he marries wife number one. they have a daughter, martha. as an adult martha mary's thomas jefferson and martha and mary later called mariah. after john wiles third wife died he begins a relationship with his slave elizabeth hemings who in fact have been brought to his household. they have six children together beyond the stuff home with sally hemings worn in 1773 the year that john wales died. two things worth noticing here. first of all that jefferson's
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wife and sally hemings have the same father, john wales. the other thing to note is jefferson's daughter martha and sally hemings born within a year of each other so they will be going through their childbearing years together at monticello. okay, so we don't know exactly when harriet hemings left monticello. certainly by the end of may, 1822 when she turned 21 years old. we do know there was quite a stir in the little town of charlottesville. there is a great deal of talk about it. people said he freed her because she was his own daughter. from courthouse square were harriet had come from washington you can easily see jefferson
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atop his little mountain. there on the square under their peach brandy's the tourist people had freely discussed among themselves and with strangers relations with sally hemings and the children that looks so much like him. now they animatedly started to ask why jefferson would free harriet hemings. everyone knew as jefferson himself had once said that quote a slave woman who brings a child is more profitable than the best man on the farm. certainly jefferson had never done such a thing before or why he never did it again. story might well have ended there had it not been for her younger brother madison who told
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the family story to an ohio newspaper in 1873, so just over 50 years after harriet left monticello. somewhere along that road north to washington harriet discovered her enslaved identity for that of a freeborn white woman. she was and you can sort of do the rough math. i am an historian and i don't get that as she was the eighth wife. it was a declaration of independence of such breathtaking scope as to rival that of her father's and hers to was successful. this was her likely arrival point. jesse brown's famous hotel on pennsylvania avenue. it boasted the largest assembly room in the city of fine
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restaurants and it was the tusseling depot stop. madison reported that harriet quote married a white man in good standing in washington city and raised a family of children. she likely lived until at least 1863 for in 1873 when madison was telling the family story he said he had not heard him her in about 10 years that during all of those years he said he was not aware that her identity as harriet hemings of monticello had ever been discovered. nor to my knowledge had anyone really gone booking so i decided to take the plunge. it became clear to me immediately that she dropped the hemings name but knowing as annette gordon-reed said that hemings had a positive mania for
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naming children after relatives. i decided to look at the first records. to see if i could find the mother of sons who bore the name beverly madison which is to say the distinctive name of harriet's brother. they would stand out in william and john and thomas. >> the district did keep marriage records beginning in 1811 because there are none in the register i went through the
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and listed all the harriet's known between late 1821 and 1830. by that time harriet would've been 29 and married. there is 59 harriet's and still 59 husbands was much more of a historical imprint in the record. so having a list of a hundred and 18 names i had something to work with. still in search of the children staying, no district had those records so i went to church records but then i had to recognize what churches were around in d.c. the 20s and 30s and constructed genealogy of those because many change location.
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any of the family histories should have encountered these kinds of challenges. they are the 1850 and 1860 census looking for both those names. electricity directories. here's a sample page in 1822 the year that harriet would've arrived noticed james monroe, president of the united states residing at the presidents house. not to be confused at james monroe who is an engineer at the steam mill. the city directory help me with these men on the landscape, where they lived and worked,
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giving some idea of their economics. madison said his sister married a man of good standing and doing that, i had about a third of the harriet's on my list if you had me going for a while. the third chasing after harriet walker who married a man named john newton in 1825 her last name would be perfect considered she had walked for monticello. she also said and keeping an eye out for beverly's first name was william and who did what harriet said chose to leave monticello and go to washington, he married a white woman and he had a daughter and both harry and him disappeared part with.
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i managed to church records to establish that harriet walker and william walker were brother and sister. i thought i was onto something. until the record revealed that john newton was a free man of color in medicine has been emphatic that his sister mary a white man. wonder she was harriet's free but i saw her baptismal records of the rock creek church records. she is not the harriet in the local papers that he would not be responsible for any debts incurred by his runaway wife. the one who had me going the longest and i'm still going to keep up the search was the harriet who married a scottish
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carpentry who had ten children of whom she married for. has been so successful that when he died she hired 30 carriages for his funeral procession. a man of good standing. i cannot find say definitively that i found her i certainly learned a good deal about the varieties of people that live there and tried to understand better the woman she must have been in her choice. i have seen slaves changed together and paraded around pennsylvania avenue. the race right that destroyed black businesses in 1835, thrown way to the abolition of slavery in the nation's capital does not
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come until april 1862. on the long hard -- of free blacks throughout the 19 century to prove them is truly deserving as whites. in other words, see the city through. size i watched with her the fate she escaped. this shows the building as it would've appeared in 1922 when harriet arrived and he can see these mining pennsylvania avenue were planted by her father. here's post 1824 view. so the people who build the city start a growing bureaucracy and served an expanding population of government and many
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transients. i saw the daily labor of women who sustain their families but their gardening and sewing. women who died in childbirth and woman who arose in childbirth only to bury children who died before they had a chance to live. in spite of everything. blended right in. of course this is not the start of unadulterated trial. we need to think hard about what it means to live one's life this way. i met the family of her half-sister martha is sizes is devoted to one another harriet looked out her life when the oblivion of exile.
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geographically severed from her mother and two younger brothers silenced by institutionally slavery finished into white society, herrity suffered the rapture of her birth family. we don't know when her correspondence with medicine began. we don't know when or how she even learned of her mother's death nine years after her father had died. slaves did not possess lineage. the captivity tethered to to a mother rather than father and me to up screen rather than an heir. jefferson may have thought of. as office is the granddaughter of the family matriarch harriet
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was there the proud having mind. forced her to bury that limit lineage. the scholars show how they told the story of her grandmother who passes white to obtain a job at a chicago department surgery in the great depression of the 1930s. they watched the pain flip across her face when she told the story, remembering the monumental effort of self effacement that they required. she was transgressing boundaries crossing borders they now understand, no longer immediately identifiable because her grandmother moved from mississippi. her grandmother could go into
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the white world. on a passport, not really passive but trespassing. echoing the lesson that harriet had learned earlier that she hit her family so story behind the façade of her white face. harris' grandmother knew that accepting the risk of self annihilation was the only way to survive. the still about survival. despite the minority black americans female are incarcerated in epic proportions compares to whites. plaque parents after teeth their children lessons on how to survive beyond the front door when dealing with police white parents tonight.
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evaluation of black lives since the 17th century has created a white wave seeing it persist even with video to the contrary the flame figure coming this way the man on the ground would spring to life and threatened who takes his life. the lesson we can take away is that americans are not colorblind. quite the contrary the meaning of color so deeply significant that whites insist on the right to know who carries a drop of african blood that renders a person black.
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and i certainly to the white privilege from which blacks are supposed to understand. this is exactly the problem. the path into slavery she was black. anyone who looked at her would have judged her white. she is not free since 1865 because she never gave her formal freedom papers. she wasn't a slave because she lived as a free person. she doesn't fit neatly into any category but i seem to have had such clarity of meaning. as far as her randolph cousins were concerned, harriet was entrusted with her too. probably from the privileged of
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their common dissent from thomas jefferson of which the randolph's were very proud. it's a sore point between recognize jefferson descendents : the right of burial in the monticello graveyard and the descendents who seek access to the graveyard. in 2000 to the monticello association limited hemmings descendents to the graveyard. dozen years later a white woman arranged to meet slave descendent to joseph white there they walked to the graveyard together. i am not the good he recounted apparently unconscious of the fullness of that moment. sitting atop two centuries of family history, the white person in possession of the key while
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the other remains locked out. we need to see in that i hope my book shows is the legal and social barriers that have separated us by race and gender are as much the work of human hands as the fence that surrounds the graveyard. that it proves the point that we need to acknowledge the aficionado of the systems that separate us so we can begin the effort to dismantle them as we confront revised movements redefine citizenship as black americans today still strive to
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convince white americans that black lives matter i think it says opportunity i miss having to think about. story. [applause] understand many of your veterans of this wonderful series. in the microphone is on the stairs happy to take questions. >> think you for your talk. i've two questions. can you speculate whether her husband would have known of her slavery origins and heritage.
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when you talk about martha's years as first lady so would harriet's immediate family have known. you write to you through speculation because that's i would have to do. there was a question i was asking myself as i was trying to conjure up scenarios which give me ideas of ways to look for her. no one has claimed -- or harriet that leads me to believe that at the very least, if her husband knew her children new that
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information stopped with them. the reason the scottish immigrant interested me so much was because had no investment in slavery the census records show that he never owned slaves, he was a carpenter of the scottish immigrant was a carpenter site that that's how they met. so i really have no way of knowing, what is interesting is that hemmings descendent as late as world war ii in washington said that the daughter of
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jefferson and hemingway still lives in washington and are doing very well. so, clearly in pre-black washington there was knowledge of who she married. patterson made a point to say could be her husband but i will not. as you know the civil war did not change ideas about race. it's important question because it gets to the point of did she keep the secret to herself? did she competitors husband or didn't care.
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so i really don't know. but the silence that accompanied to suggest that the secret was held earlier rather than later the white side of the family. not particularly comfortable with the designation because martha visited her father twice when he was president. and was certainly she congenial, and adornment to her father but neither she nor mariah are really interested in hostessing
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duties. they were there because jefferson wanted them there. it was a grueling three day trip and martha was pregnant for one of them so it's less the hostessing duties of the first lady and more lovable daughter wanted to please her father. >> wonderful presentation. i don't have a question as much a comment. you mentioned tough taylor woman who is tough taylor. i work at monticello now. wasn't so much longing to get into that gravesite as well as
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longing to find my family's history. i like to say on behalf of myself and on monticello, we are fully committed to telling the complete story about the people who live there. duchess martha's children whose my ancestor as well. not just of thomas jefferson, but of the 607 people we would have to find harriet so please don't give up your search. but she was not the only one. it's important we acknowledge and recognize that. every individual there matter. so please always remember that and thank you for mentioning me. [applause]
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>> is a genealogy research and myself think your presentation standing i have two comments. pardon my voice. would as i prefer personally the use of the word enslaved as opposed to slaved. because slaves are not poor. second, as the mixture of race and passing is also an insult because passing means you did
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something because you wanted to show yourself is something else. i think the idea, coming from a family of a lot of make sure i think the idea is survival as well as freedom. so people who wants to be an enslaved person when we were treated so very poorly, i think the choice was, the guilt was that you had to do it, the choices that you did it for survival. i think your book is bringing out a lot of very interesting facts about the jefferson. >> think you. >> i agree entirely. with your point about enslaved
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persons and using enslaved as an adjective. and passing as you know is very fat topic amount recommended terrific book by allison who did a presentation here called the chosen exile during the history of slavery, for people who passed it was not pain-free as i was trying to get us to think about but it was a way of dealing with an atrocious, oppressive system when i was trying to do in my book was just
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to look at the words were using, white and black, have no biological meaning. there is no basis for race and science. but they carry anonymous weight. there's my book and i'm glad to about the time child to let people see me stumble over these terms because number of them really work. and to see the artificiality of the meanings they continue to bear. so that's what i'm trying to do. even if tickets people to think
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of this to me, it's progress. the people start questioning these categories in the may be of these terms don't have any basis in biology are true, ab we need to start on doing the different ways in which we've institutionalize them. >> i'm not going to ask a question. it's going to make a comment. as a south african born american. hearing about passing in your book and the experience it appears that harriet went through as well as the other slaves in this country, brought to mind what i experience growing up in johannesburg.
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i actually haven't thought about passing for a long time because a friend of mine who has since passed away past and so i know a little bit about what it meant. to pass his wife in such a difficult experience. >> i think in the american experience of the 20th century is when passing becomes more problematic than it was during the time of slavery, that is to say the ways in which guilt, the ways in which may have been
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perceived as a betrayal of working for the cause of equality and people of color in the united states. but as a last comment and mention, i think what we need, especially white people need to be conscious of the ways in which these oppressions and things we don't think about our institutionalize. whether that was in south africa, or here in australia originally we have our own problems with the ways in which english settlers treated and continue to treat the indigenous population. so thank you for that.
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[applause] [inaudible] >> sunday night, black lines medical funder patrice and her book, when they call your terrorists. she's interviewed by an author and journalist. >> as we created black lights man we knew we had to get people on board and interrupt so we spent a significant amount of the first year ensuring it wasn't co-opted. challenging people not to say our lives matter or other communities matter that really
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focus on black people and be okay on allies be in solidarity. there were took out to the world. >> watch sunday night on c-spa c-span2. >> you're watching book tv. next up a book party for james o'keefe, his newest book. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible]


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