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tv   In Depth Annette Gordon- Reed  CSPAN  July 6, 2021 1:30am-3:31am EDT

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monticello and the recently published, "on juneteenth." host: annette gordon-reed 245th
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anniversary of 1776 are we that exceptional nation we tell ourselves we are? >> we are certainly trying to be. host: in w what way? >> there are a number of people in society working to make the ideals of the declarational a reality. those are expressed in the preamble about a quality and happiness. so we have that idea trying to reach that potential. host: it's a silly question but with the founders recognize who we are today? >> of course not. [laughter] some aspects they would that women participating in politics, blacks, all of those thingsrs would have been foreign to them and the power of the united states. at the time we talk about
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1776, 13 colonies in the middle of nowhere they don't have an empire i don't think they would have seen that up to this point. >> have you weighed in on the 1776 versus a 1619 debate? >> i've heard and passing but i haven't written anything maybe if you stray tweets but no in-depth essay. host: what are your initial thoughts? that you need both of those. 1619 refers to slavery in the north american colonies and it sets the context it's different because it is the beginning of that country so
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they are acting within the context because it was slavery and all 13 colonies but 1776 enters a new dilemma but the idea all men are created equal in a society of which a good number of people are enslaved. so with that dilemma in 1619 that all men are created equal it becomes an issue when the united states breaks away on the basis of the document of universal ideals. host: where did the three fifths clause come from? >> it was a way to apportion
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congress. and then to have better representation with a compromise between the northern and southern states. of who would have power they come together as colonies but the regions were different in is not just between big states and small states but those that have slaves and those who don't it is a way to compromise to allow the factious for those who are used to being alone to come together in the union. host: this is not an easy process. >> not at all. they were countries we think of states within the union that they see themselves in
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different places where in jefferson talked about virginia his country virginia because they were a separate colony.. it took time but they created a union and that was a difficult process in compromises that were fateful that would so the seeds for those that came to a head in the 1860s. host: one of those founders you have writtens three books about, thomas jefferson when did your interest are in him? >> in elementary school and in the classroom at the back we had a separate library but it had the kinds of books you would expect for third-graders biographies dolly madison.
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booker t. washington george washington carver. and during my third grade year and the book was a biography of him but told by a fictional slave boy. but thehe book bothered me because it portrayed the enslaved boy as silly and not wanting to learn because jefferson wanted to read. but i knew at the same time as a black person my classmates in theut intent of the author was to send a message about black people and at the same time they were sending a
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message about jefferson with his intelligence and curiosity i wanted to learn how to read and i cannot see how the slave boy had to be portrayed that way. at that time i read other age-appropriate t books about monticello to say here is a person who wrote the declaration of independence but at the same time was a slaveowner. what is that about? some t interest started in school up through now. host: was your school segregated at that point to review integrated quick. >> actually i integrated the schools of my hometown in the first grade by the time i got to the third grade there were
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more black kids in the school i was by myself at first but then supreme court cases that require the immediate integration of all schools and there were more black said anderson. by the time i read my first biography about jefferson but it wasso new integration was new at the time. i was a person who started that in our town. host: you write you integrated that school just like will be bridges but without the police escort. >> yes my parents and the school district the town decided if we don't make a big deal about it they would not make a big deal about it. as if nothing was unusual of
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course it was very unusual i remember during the first year the delegations of educators to stand in the doorway to look at us, me and 25 white kids who are in the class with me to see how it was going. it was intense my mother said i broke out in hives at one point which could have been a stress reaction but i look back at that time period in a focus mainly i do remember some of the bad stuff that my overall feeling of excitement and being in school and learning things. i had friends some white kids were not nice to me but my first grade teacher and second-grade teacher were fantastic and wonderful and did everything they could to
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make everything run smoothly but there were bumps as you can imagine. host: thomas jefferson and sally hemmings. the second 2008 hemmings is a monticello winning those are national book award anden pulitzer prize in the most recent is most blessed of the patriarch. why did a jefferson refer to him as most blessed of the patriarch quick. >> he was the patriarch of old and enslaved people and he had power and the patriarch of this particular area. ands, of course we look at that
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and say what? that's why i insisted we put that in quotations we didn't want people thinking we called him that but that was his identity. we look at this is negative that's i don't want to be associated calling him that that he saw himself as a person who had responsibilities. that is what he meant we look at the slaveholder and the fatherth who had control and think this was a bit much but he saw it has all the people i am responsible for i am supposed to take care of. that was the image of himself. he says a couple of times so it meant something to him in the book is trying to figure out what that was and what it was that he meant by that. host: how long have we known about sally hemmings?
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>> it depends who we are. people in the african-american community had the story from the 19th century and referenced it. the story came out in the 17 nineties sally hemmings name in 18 oh two so the story has been in the public sphere since the beginning of the 18th century. it was rediscovered in the 19 fifties when they found the recollection a novelist who was a bus person as well and brought this to the attention in medicine hemmings recollection. they didn't talk about it explicitly that in the
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seventies is thomas jefferson in the intimate history and she but the recollections in the back of her book. he said he was the son of thomas jefferson and that recollection now i read it when i was 14 years old and that wasrr the first time i had ever seen a narrative by a former enslaved. and that children board of those connection between those people i knew that. but to have them talking about a person or an individual i was interested before was a new twist.
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host: how widespread are the descendentses. >> very widespread. medicinef hemmings had 12 kids and the sons had children so there a lot of people around the country i met a good number of them and i've been to a family reunion including those from the legal families and then becomes exponential at some point. host: have they been officially recognized on the hemmings side of the family? >> i don't think so. the monticello association i
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don't believe they have. >> i would have heard something h about it i don't know how many are seeking that recognition so the people that i talked it was pretty much there attitude. host: the c-span presidential historian survey just came out every four years after an electionon and the two presidents you have written about a extensively jefferson came number seven again who was consistently a number seven the other president andrew johnson came in second to lastt right above buchanan. are those accurate readings? >> when my book about johnson
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came out t that was the one year that's about right he was not a good president he was a terrible person to follow weekend. the thing about buchanan and johnson but they both do things that merits being at the bottom of the list of presidents. >> . >> why is that? >> probably because louisiana doubling the size of the country. if that happens during his presidency and it wast is doing. that is controversial because people talk about what that meant for the extension of slavery and indigenous people
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so the continental united states and it was momentous. of how i feel of a particular action or policy or how we exercise power and the things that are momentous to help change the country so that was a claim to fame and that another girl address and there was the embargo and all kinds of issues and because of that declaration and gets points for that as well.
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but i would say louisiana from the first term and to set a tone of this idea about the people were sovereign as rulers and jeffersonian is him which continues even after he is president with madison and monroe and even jackson who didn't think very much of. but jackson saw himself as a jefferson even though jefferson did not admire him. so there is an age of jefferson that you think of and that is part of the presidency. host: review asked to write the andrew johnson biography by the american president series?
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>> i was asked our thirst lesson sure junior was on the boardd of advisors had the papers of jefferson edited out of princeton in a new him from that and the other editor was the editor on the book i did with vernon jordan so between the two of them asking me to do this it was only 3000 words i said sure. it's not something i o ever would have out of the blue thought of doing. even though johnson is in a terribly pleasant person should be consideration but it is if you're going to spend time with someone writing about them, he was president during a pivotal moment and made decisions to put in place other decisions he was not
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attractive as a man or character but the role that he played is president is pivot all people should know about him because of that. host: the only southern senator not to leave the senate. >>. exactly. that is why lincoln traded his original vice president for him because it was symbolic. he wanted to send a message. c? we could get back together but a southerner on my ticket who is loyal and go forward together. but it was a disaster. host: the one pick up in your biography referring to johnson quirky independence. >> yes. he came from nowhere
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essentially. he was the taylor's apprentice. he did not learn how to read until he was a late teenager his wife taught him how to write so were talking about raw ambition it is a good quality in some ways but really he didn't accept the limitations he knew he came from a working-class background but he didn't let himself be hampered by that and held every office you could have mayor and governor on his way up to vice president and then becomes president because of a tragedy but yes, he had grit there's not a lot of other things to
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commend him in my book and that is key but the independent streak is great and loyalty to the union is i can say there is something there along with being in a pivotal role at a pivotal time in history. host: before we leave andrew johnson i want to ask about dolly the slave girl. >> we don't know much about her. people claim from johnson through her but there's not that much known about her is like the hemmings story. because my book was basically about his presidency we necessarily talk about the
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personalde lives of the presidents but the main thing we talk about our their policies and workings to the presidency so i didn't go into detail. host: back to the presidential historian survey johnson has been dropping steadily since 2011 rated number 13 now down at 22. what does that say? >> different people and generations respond to different public figures differently over time. and the and with that preoccupation. and of indigenous people in
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interested in the subject jackson is an interesting figure because the age of jackson was because it was the rise and i'm not making this up but a white man's government. that white men should rule even in situations so the situation this expansion of democracy those getting power they didn't have the four it is a though in a restriction and how we celebrate that and
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restriction on the other side. but that policy before jackson that he had a problem in to put that mildly as he fixated think of those issues he likes worse than he would have the four. and with african-americans during this time period if they are just assuming and then becomes a problematic figure. and because of the spread of democracy if you have the notion of a historical process it is leading to better things
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that they were taking the franchise away from black people it is inevitable there is no inevitable and in people can say yes we cannot think of what happens afterwards but what happens in that particular moment and blacks you could vote before and the white man's government. not to say it's okay it will be allll right. and they are fallen over the years it's not likely he will
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stay there. and then fixate on different things and who knows that we will be on to in the future. host: the survey is sent out 100 historians nationwide, eight different criteria and we do it every four years after the end of one president and donald trump was included for the first time and he comes in fourth from thehe bottom 897 points abraham lincoln. 312 donald trump. is itul fair to judge six months out? >> no. that's not really history want more time you want more time to pass to have perspective
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for some of those things that happen with the trump administration that they are egging that on colored people's views it is an extraordinary circumstance if we are filling out a survey to come off of something like that so quickly a lot of that judgment comes from that. and then the way they answer that and then you asked the question so they responded of what they said were extraordinary circumstances
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ideally want time to pass to have the effects of presidential actions would be. so those judgments are last sound and that's my view of it. >> . >> and with the effectiveness of contemporary times. >> june 19, 1865. >> the people of texas in accordance with the proclamation from the executive of the united states that all slaves are free. this involves rights of property with former masters and slaves and that connection here to for an between employer and hired labor.
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and to remain quietly at their present homes to work for wages they will not be allowed to collect military post and in the idleness or elsewhere. what is that? >> general order number three. d that's the day that we have come to know as juneteenth that recently became a federal holiday. >> host: but the civil war ended in april. >> guest: yes. well, they kept fighting. [laughter] lee surrendered in april, and the army of the trans-mississippi kept fighting, had the last ballot of the civil war near brownsville.
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which the confederates won, actually. but decided that the effort was, you know, for naught, and they surrendered, and that's when granger goes in to take control of texas. with his troops, obviously. [laughter] >> host: as a texas native, did you grow up knowing about this juneteenth? >> guest: yes, i didn't know the details of grapinger and all those kinds of things -- granger and all those things we've been talking about, but, yes. i've had to occasion, people have asked me when did i first, and i don't remember a time when we were not celebrating, we did not celebrate juneteenth. it was a family holiday, a community holiday. i don't think we talked very much about -- i don't recall talking about it in school. but this was a holiday that was carried forward as far as i knew mainly by people in the african-american community. i thought of it as a black holiday. thankfully, it became a texas
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state holiday in 1980. but before then i saw it as just about the black community. this was when the slaves were field. that's what i would have -- field. that's what i would have said as a kid. and we barbecued and drank red soda water and threw firecrackers. little kids, you know, below the age of 10 with matches and firecrackers and sparklers, those kinds of things. that's what i remember about the day. >> host: where did that term juneteenth come fromming? from? >> guest: well, it's sort of a mashup. mostly it's just a mash-up of june 19th and you take out the nine. and other people said that some people celebrate it over a three-day period, and they weren't sure about the date. when it's the 18th, 19th or 20th, so they just said juneteenth. i don't know that i buy that because the journal is written and it was announced.
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there's a story of it being tacked on the door of an african e discocopal church in galveston, so people knew what day it was. but i think the best answer is it's just a mash-up of june 19th and juneteenth. >> host: well, you were just recently in washington at the white house, weren't you? >> guest: yes, i was. i was. i was there for the signing ceremony. i was stunned by the quickness with which this all took place. i thought -- i was pretty confident that it was going to become a federal holiday, but i thought it might be later. and i got an e-mail, an invitation to, well, a text and then an e-mail invitation to come down to the white house for the signing ceremony. so i quickly hopped on a plane, i went down there and made it in time for the ceremony. >> host: well, in your most recent book "on juneteenth" you write that that there is just so much to misunderstand about
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texas. misunderstandings that them from a general lack of attention to or even awareness of the state state's foundational aspects. what does that mean? >> guest: well, it means that people think of texas, and i certainly have had this as one who was a transplanted texan. i've been in the north. from reading, people think of texas as the land of cowboys and oilmen, sort of archetypal person, and i say it in the book, texas is construct as a white man, and that would be, like, a cowboy, a cattle rancher even though many cowboys were black. that's not the sort of hollywood presentation of them. or the oil man. and the film giant probably exemplifies what people think about texas, the story they tell about texas, that it was a place of cattlemen, and they had their way of life. and then the sort of wildcatting oil people came in and nuvo rich
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people who sort of challenged the cowboys and then all of a sudden they come together and make this new texas. but they leave out the part about plantation owners in east texas, the place where even austin, the father of texas, doesn't bring people to texas to become cattle ranchers. he brings people to texas fully with the expectation that they're going to bring enslaved people and that slavery would be protected, and texas would take its place as part of the cotton empire. so the foundational aspects of texas are the things that we don't think about very much, a slave society. and it was clear that that was the intention when the texans break away from mexico which had declared slavery illegal even though they gave texas an exemption. the texans were never really
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secure about that. and so that was one of the reasons they decided to leave mexico. and when they do, they set up a constitution that has provisions that expressly protect slavery which prevents african-americans, people of african descent from emigrating there without permission, saying that they can never become citizens. so not thinking about texas as being a slave society, having been a slave society, i think sometimes from the questions i get people are confused about certain things they hear coming out of texas because they think, you know, what are these racial problems, talking about race, what is this? what's the problem here? this is a place full of cowboys or this is a white space. it's not a space of african-americans only, you know, people who have anything to do with what we think of as
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the old south. people that live in georgia, mississippi, places like that as slave societies, not so much texas where it actually was. so the purpose of the book was to disabuse people of that notion that it's all about the west. the wes is important, i don't want to, you know, you can't downplay that. but east texas where i grew up, where my ancestors were brought from in one case, a couple of cases from georgia and from mississippi, was a slave society. and the state is still dealing with all of that today. >> host: have you been able to trace back your family? pretty thoroughly? >> guest: not thoroughly. i can place my family on my mother's side in texas to at least the 1820s. on my father's side, from the 1860s, maybe a little bit before then. so, you know, i have deep roots in texas, and my family did
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not -- on either my mother's side or my father's side, they did not join the black diaspora when blacks left the south and came from texas mainly they went to california, they went westful my family stayed there. i'm sort of the anomaly of having left texas to go to school in the new hampshire at dartmouth or to live outside of texas. most of my family is in texas. when they left the little town to go somewhere, they went to houston or they went to dallas or san antonio. they didn't come to new york. they didn't go to l.a. so the roots go deep, and most of my family is still there. >> host: well, back to your book "on juneteenth," page 101, quote: in 1967 there was a re-release of the 1960 film "the
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alamo." i was taken to see it with my best friend. can you tell us that story? >> guest: yeah. it was an exciting thing. it was a big deal to go to the movies in those days. and going to houston to see a movie. i was in a little town outside of houston, and there was essentially a pine forest between the two places. now, of course, houston has reached out and encroached upon all of that area. but it was an exciting thing, a treat to go see this movie about people that we already knew about, jim bowie, travis, dave i have correct. these were name -- davy crockett. and my friend who was a boy, my best friend, you know, really was into those characters. i mean, i knew who they were, and i thought jim bowie was almost this myth ific sort of -- mythic sort of semi-godlike
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person that had these special powers. it was just a knife, in the real life he got into knife fights, and the bowie knife became famous because of that. so we went to see this film, and it is a very, very heroic portrayal of the alamo, as you would have expected. and i, you know, there was nothing in there that surprised me. there was things that made me uncomfortable. they had a character who was a slave and was or portrayed not in a way that -- in a way that made me uncomfortable, the sort of loyal slave, trope that was in the it. but for the most part, it was this he rowic representation of this battle where the texans made this last glorious stand against the mexicans. now, later on when i was a teenager and actually, yeah, teenage years or even by the --
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probably maybe when i was in college and i read more about all of this, i came to understand that the texans had reasons to fight for their independence. but as i mentioned before, one of them was to protect their slave holders, protect texas and to make it as a slaveholders' republic. so how am i supposed to deal with this? i am african-american. my character, excuse me, my ancestors were enslaved in texas. how do i have this sort of heroic or keep this heroic understanding about the alamo when i realized that one of the things they were fighting for was to keep my people in bondage? and so i had this, i enjoyed the movie except for the part about the enslaved person. i fell into all the rousing nature of it. it had a nice theme song, and lawrence harvey was really cute,
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i thought. but later on i began to see the problems with it. and if so in the book i talked a little bit about that, how is there a way to reconcile this and how can you possibly do that. >> host: good afternoon and welcome to booktv on c-span2. independence day 2021, this is our monthly program "in depth" where we invite one author to come on and talk about the her or his books. this month it's harvard professor, pulitzer prize-winning author annette gordon-reed. she began her writing career in 1997. thomas jefferson and sally hemings: an american controversy, came out that year. the hemingses of monticello: an american family, came out in 2008. that won both the prettier and the national book award -- pulitzer and the national book award. andrew johnson, her biography, came out in 2010. most weesed of the patriarchs: thomas jefferson and the empire
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of imagination came out in 2016. "on juneteenth" calm out this year. and annette gordon-reed has also co-authored a book with vernon jordan, the late vernon jordan, which came out in 2001. and she has edited race on trial: law and justice in american history. this is an interactive program, and your voices are very important. we want to hear from you. here's your chance to talk with professor gordon-reed. 202 is the area code. 748-8200 if you love in the east and central -- can love in the east and central time zones. 8201 for the mountain and pacific time zones. you can also send in a text. if you do, please include your first name and your city, and this is for text messages only, 202-748-8903. now, you can also contact us via social media, facebook, twitter.
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just remember @booktv is our twitter handle, so you can find all those, and you can make a comment that way too. and we'll scroll through those numbers again so in case you didn't get a chance to write 'em down or hear them, we'll give you another chance to do that. annette gordon-reed, it was in 2008 that you won the national book award. i happened to be there at that presentation that night, and i remember you walk by me and you just looked a little bit stunned at what was happening when you won that night. but we want to play just a little bit of your acceptance speech. >> guest: i have to thank, first, two people who are not here, my mother and father, betty jean gordon and alfred gordon who are responsible for everything that i am that is good and gave me a sense of how important learning was. and, quite frankly, to be personal about it, it's sort of
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the journey that black people in this country are on, and that's what i've been trying to do with my scholarship and what i tried to do with this book. they are gone on, and i hope they're looking at me, and i know that they would be very, very proud at this moment. >> host: annette gordon-reed, who were your parents? >> guest: well, my father was alfred gordon sr., and my mother was betty jean gordon. and they were texans -- [laughter] as i mentioned before. they grew up in texas in a segregated society. my father went into the army as an 18-year-old after he graduated from high school to help his sisters rather than go to school, help his younger sisters. their mother had died when he was 11, and his father was an invalid, so he was a career army person for a time and then came out ask had a series -- and had a series of businesses when i
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was growing up. my mother was a high school english teacher. she went to spelman college and tsu for graduate school, and they got married in livingston, had known each other in loving son as kids. my -- livingston. my mother had gone away to live in houston for a time but came back. in some ways, they had been childhood sweethearts but got married. and when i was about six months old, i was born in livingston. at about six months old, they moved to texas, and that's the town that i write about in "on juneteenth." >> host: you also said your mother was a high school teacher. you you: the effects of integration on school children, black and white, have received a great amount of attention over the years. what has been much less considered is the effect that integration had on black teachers. >> guest: yes, yes. i'm talking in the book about the fact that my parents were, i
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believe, idealistic when they sent me to anderson school. this is the mid '60s, and black people were sort of on the move in a way. there's the civil rights act and the voting rights act, and i think they saw sending me to integrate this school as part of an advance in civil rights. now, later on they, when they became i think disillusioned to some degree about the way integration had played itself out in the south in general, because my parents were very political people. we talked about politics a lot, and they were surveying the scene not just in our town, but all over the south. they became disillusioned because there was integration, but it seemed to be blacks joining whites but whites didn't really have to change anything in a way. it was integration of the kids
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but not integration of the teachers. and across the south, in my town and across the south many black teachers were taken out of the classroom after integration. and my mother remained in the classroom, and she loved teaching, and she stayed there. but i think that there was a bit of disappointment about that fact because, you know, she said i to me that she had gone to college and idea school to teach black students. she loved her white students, and she loved her black students. and one of the great things about this book is that i heard from her former students who have written to me and told me how much she meant to them as a teacher, white and black people. but she was a part of that generation that saw themselves as the vanguard, that they were the face that -- the phrase that people would have used in the those days to uplift the race. that they were there to teach, to sort of prepare black students for what they were
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going to be facing living anything a segregated society. and, actually, not just to live in that society, but how to maneuver to try to end it, right? if to try to make things better for black people. and if then when there was -- and then when there was integration and teachers were moved from the classroom, she lost sort of -- she gained a number of friends when she work withed at the high school, and they were wonderful friendships that grew out of that. but it's very different from what she had known as part of a group the of black men and women who had this sort of mission for people who were imperilled in some sort of way. for whites. it didn't really work that way. the society had been made for them, so there was no -- i mean, she didn't have to exhort them to anything other than fulfilling their individual potential which she did, but there was no notion that, you know, you are a group of people who have things to do. we have been on a journey since 1865, june 19, 1865.
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even before then, but certainly formally. so i think she became a little disillusioned about this, and the terms upon which e integration was cared out. carried out. >> host: did you -- why did you get a law degree from harvard? have you ever practiced as a lawyer? [laughter] >> guest: why did i get a law degree? well, that's a long story. i got a law degree because -- well, for a couple reasons. i think my experience integrating the schools of our town gave me an early look at law, because i understood that this was something that had been made by the courts and that lawyers were in the courts. and justices and all these people who had gone to law school, who had been lawyers. so part of this, you know, i wanted to be a writer for most of my life, from the time --
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well, for all of my if life really. but i thought law was a practical, the most practical thing for me to do. [laughter] so it was, my experiences integrating schools made me focus on law. and the practicality of it and plus my father admired lawyers, and i think, you know, he would have, if he'd had the opportunity while he was growing up, he would have been a lawyer. and so i think it was probably to please my father too, that was part of it. and whew i went to harvard is because it's harvard. and i knew that lots of people who were able to do things who were, you know, i saw government officials. harvard is a place that really prizes public service. a lot of my colleagues and people who were on the faculty before were people who went back and forth the between
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government -- forth between government and academia. i practiced three years at cahill, gordon and liebell which is a wall street law firm. then i was counsel to a small city agency called the board of corrections which is the oversight agency to the department of correction, the agency that runs the jails. and my job or our job was to right minimum standards for the jails on rikers to make sure that those minimum standards were followed. not a prisoners' rights organization, but it had that bent. it was like a tiny agency that had a huge mandate and no money to carry it out, but we did the best that we could do. so i did, i practiced for about seven years either in private practice but in government practice as well in the city here, in new york. >> host: and, of course, you're known as a historian and a history professor. but did you meet a new york
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supreme court justice at harvard law school? >> guest: yes, i did. i did. robert reeled, my husband -- robert reed, my husband. we met at the black law students' association picnic the first week. i thought, that's a good looking guy. [laughter] and we were in the same dorm. we were in the same section. harvard is a big law school, and your first-year section is divided up into four sections, and he was in my section. we were in a smaller section, legal methods section, so it seemed like fate. everything was sort of pushing us to be together. and we used to sit in the lobby of our dorm and watch tv shows after we'd finished studying. and we got married -- we got engaged my second year in law school, our second year, and then we got married the day after graduation up at harvard methodist church right there on the harvard law school campus.
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and robert reed is a justice at the new york supreme court. will you be teaching in person this fall at harvard, and what will you be teaching? this. >> guest: yes. i will be back. and this year in the fall i will be teaching, yes, we're open for business, and we're going to get back into things. i'm very excited about that. i'm going to be teaching american legal history in the fall, and i am chairing the entry-level hiring committee again. so i will have that class. that will be just one class in the fall. and then the springtime i will be teaching a class on constitutional law and empire, and i will be teaching legal profession which is legal ethics in the spring. >> host: and peter is her co-author on "the most blessed of the patriarchs" book. i've taken enough of your time. let's hear from our callers. jim in caliente, california, you are first up with annette
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gordon-reed. >> caller: thank you very much for taking my call. and, professor reed, i've been fascinated listening to you. it's been wonderful. my question is about sally hemings and thomas jefferson. what do we know about the relationship? obviously, he owned her. a horrible thing to say, but he owned her. was there love there? was there just she was e handy? there were many women, i'm sure, who would have been more than happy to be his companion. i understand that he had promised his wife he would not remarry. but what do we know about the interpersonal as much as we can know about that this. >> host: thank you, jim. >> guest: well, we don't know anything specific about the nature of their connection. there are people who say that it could only be, you know, rape because he owned her, as you mentioned, he owned her.
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his -- sally hemings' grandchildren, a couple great grandchildren, i'm trying to get the precise number here right. they talked about how jefferson felt about her, that he loved her. mr. jefferson loved her dearly, they said. they don't talk about how she felt about him. and once she comes back to the united states with him, this is something that started when they were in france in a place where sally hemings and her brother james, her older brother james could have taken their freedom there. and at first she thinks about doing that, but jefferson promises her that if she comes back to the, the story they tell is jefferson promises her when they come back to the united states, she would live a good life at monticello, and many children they had would be field when they were 21 -- freed when they were 21. she comes back with him. i don't know if it's because,
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obviously, she trusted him to carry that out, but she's 16 years old, and that could have been -- 16-year-olds in the 18th century is not the same as we think of it today. but they were still people who were young and impressionable. and she comes back with him on that and, in fact, what he said he was going to do he dud. but we don't know anything more about it. the that i have said is that i think about this is all in his power, right? once she comes back to virginia, she's solely in his power. it strikes me as unlikely that he would maintain a purely sexual interest in her for 38 years. that's not, that's not -- that wouldn't be the first thought you'd have in your mind about the way people act in those circumstances. but we don't know. i mean, we don't have her words about him. we don't have his words about her. we just have, as i said, a great
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granddaughter talking about the two of them and talking only about him. when i mentioned this in the hemingses of monticello, when he dies, she keeps items from him that were, that belonged to him and gives them to her children as heirlooms. what that means -- i don't know what that means, but this is, i mention it because that's the only action that we know besides coming back with him, that we know about her relationship to him. so this is a mystery. this is something that people will probably, it's best plumed in novels as it has been. a novel sally hemings in 1978. but as far as historians go, unless we find some material, some other things, we're not going to know much more about it than that. >> host: we have a caller from bryan, texas.
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good afternoon. >> caller: hello. i was planning to ask another question. i had heard that sally hemings was a half sister of his, of jefferson's wife. have you addressed that at all in and then i'll ask my question. >> host: well, and ask your second question, sir. >> caller: okay. my hometown is also your hometown, conroe. i'm 84. i discovered i must have gotten some racism by osmosis, because when i discovered a beautiful black woman at the ut when i was 19 or 20, that was a big shock to me that that was even possible. so that's my first big example of racism. i've been working to get rid of it -- [laughter] ever, my prejudice, ever since. i'm an activist of the '60s, i
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marched with -- and my seminary classmate was dr. king. and here's my question. it was always a rumor that a black man was burned on the courthouse steps in '32. do you know anything about that. >> host: in texas, sir? >> caller: in conroe, texas, montgomery county. there was a hotbed of violence racism. .. >> sally hemmings was the john and the daughter of martha wales jefferson, jefferson's wife and half-sister, that is the case. his biased is understandable
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that you grow up in that place, that was a town that had a very, that has a very, very tough racial history and there was a man burned that the stakes on the courthouse steps, it was reported in the newspaper and a person who was accused of doing something to a white woman and they found a white girl in the woods and was lynched essentially. and i talk about this in the book the emphasis of racial violence that made it a place that some of my relatives would not spend the night in congo because of its racial past, this is a story that could be told about other towns and then not making excuses of my hometown but the story could be told other places, the burning at the
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stake is mid-evil and this is something happening in the 20th century as taking place, yes had a very, very tough history. host: lisa and cicero indiana, hi lisa. caller: ms. rita i'm so impressed with your entire presentation and kudos to you picking up a law degree, very much needed as a result of what you witnessed in your lifetime and my question as a successful black single-parent, i became victimized by predators after 17 years after finish paying for my home. which has led me too be homeless and i have a healthy history of successful activity. my question to you, i know this
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is a worldwide scam, i thought i was alone at first but the agencies that i'm going to for help since the judge ruled that my attorney missed represented me and awarded the forgers to take my home forging my signature and let them get away with that. host: lisa i apologize, were getting off topic, i'm sorry for your situation but what exactly did you want to ask. >> i wanted to ask because of her experience i'm wondering if she can guide me to the proper agency or resource. host: i think we got the point, do you have any words for her. >> no, other than i'm sorry for your situation has to be legal aid clinics lawyers and even the bar association that you can connect to people who would be able to help you in that situation, if what you're saying is true, sounds like a
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miscarriage of justice and i will contact the lawyer, that's the best answer i can give. host: margaret in fayetteville arkansas, please go ahead with your question or comment for annette. caller: thank you so much for being on the program and thank you so much for having her on. i strongly believe the desire to protect the institution of slavery is one of the reasons we have the declaration of independence. and just trying to read more deeply into what really happened in our history, i've come to believe that, so today is the fourth of july in a heavily mixed feelings i'm trying to digest what this means, at the beginning of our country this
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tremendous desire to protect the slaveholders in the institution of slavery. i am bothered by that so much, how should i regard this i was influenced by learning about james somerset case and other things, the times, the 1770s, what was happening here in north america. host: i think we got the point annette gordon reed. guest: there were people that want to protect slavery in 1776, this comes as looking at the constitution and the debate over ratification of the constitution laid this out much more clearly, uc south carolina, in the southern states you are adamant about coming to an arrangement that would protect the institution of slavery.
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1976 the resolution really got started in boston and new england and there were certainly people who are interested in protecting slavery, i think they wanted -- they were basically trying at first to get a change in the situation in great britain great britain was not just picking on the 13 colonies it was in the process of reforming empire in general, not just in the united states but the caribbean and other places where they had holdings, american columnist were the ones that we want to go in the caribbean's don't do it they have slavery down there but they also have a majority of black people in the caribbean and that could be a reason why they did not want to go out, there was mixed motives i don't think it was just about slavery and it certainly wasn't about somerset, somerset did not apply somerset
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basically says you have to have positive law in order to justify it. economies have positive law, they were not doing this on common law they actually passed their statutes the codes, the justice doesn't talk about some of the he doesn't enter in any of his figures or his papers, they're not sitting around worried about that particular case but certainly yeah there was people that wanted to protect slavery but there was also patriots who were complaining about all of the changes that the british empire was trying to put in place as a reform not just the 13 colonist but the empire overall. host: will that be part of your fall course on american law history? guest: absolutely it will definitely talk about this. host: we have a text from scott in arkansas. what is your interpretation of
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the current political acrimony over critical race theory as someone who has used many different varieties of critical theory in graduate school from feminist to queer, i am shocked that the analytical lens became political red to the political base. >> it's perplexing because critically legal theory, critical race theory was something that one of my classmates at harvard law school in the same section with my husband as a matter of fact and the late derek bell who is a harvard professor meant and eventually was that nyu started this and some of the proponents of it and this is a law school class the things of their time in law school and is not taught in all law schools, i was
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surprised on the thought that critical race theory is being taught in k-12 it is about law and how despite changes law has embedded race, racism embedded in the legal system and critical race theory is about trying to unpack that. i think what people have done is made any talk about race, critical race theory critical race theory is all talk about race but not all people to talk about race are critical race theorist and most of the people who are talking about race to the extent that they are when they talk about slavery and so forth, k-12 are not doing theory with six and 7-year-old and i'm not being disingenuous i don't think that's what's going on. i think there's a concern about talking about topics from what i have read and what people have
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said that make white students feel bad if you talk about slavery and they know the vast majority of slaveholders were white in the united states but somebody is going to call and say that africans had slaves to and people that they captured they sold but were talking about americans and the relationship that we had to one another as citizens and we have had since the time north america in 1776. but to say that you can talk about those things because it'll make white students feel bad means that you can talk about history. , they are not responsible no one should be teaching them that the did these things but you have to say this to papa. how do you talk about it without
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reading the constitution, if you read the constitution it's going to talk about race and there will be white kids that might feel will how did my great-great-grandfather respond to this and they responded by saying yeah it was great black people should be slaves or black people can be citizens here then i feel bad about it but that is part of life life is not all about feeling good about yourself all the time. and it is also an opportunity to learn and say look those people had ideas, which i disagree, i want to do better in two different things. this is a bit off of your question but i'm as perplexed as you are about it other than a real concern about airing these stories because it doesn't
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expand the inequalities that exist in society today and people don't want to admit the things that happened to african-american people that were unfair and not right and to other things that other people that are unfair we should i'm not saying we shouldn't talk about that either but i'm surprised as you are and i have a feeling there will be pushback against this on the legislation and some will be declared unconstitutional and teachers are pretty maverick bunch, my mother and her friends are an example they'll find a way to talk about the truth and as long as they're telling the truth, it is the truth that there was slavery and it's the truth that there was jim crow law when i was a kid when i went to the movies we had to sit in the back, when we went to the doctor's office there was a separate waiting room and there
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were people alive that this actually happened there's no point in hiding it people are ashamed, that's a good response because when you say were not going to do this anymore were not held hostage to what people did in the past and we want to do something better. host: you're watching the tv on c-span2 monthly in-depth program one author, two hours and this month is harvard professor pulitzer prize winning historian annette gordon-reed. vic from san diego sends an e-mail, the one time we visited texas we noticed the texas state flag is flown on staff above the american flag, is there a mythology among texans about the states history that looms larger than regional attachments in other states. >> i would say so this is an interesting thing, when i was growing up i recall seeing the confederate flag what i learned
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was a confederate flag only occasionally, the last time i was in texas, not the very last time but in the past few years i was in texas and i was going around in the country, riding around and visiting and i saw more confederate flags on that trip then i probably seen in my entire childhood growing up in texas. something has happened where the confederate identity, it may mean something different now because it's attached to current day political things maybe that's what it is but certainly when i was going out was all about texas the united states, that's great but the fixation was on texas as a state and the chauvinism about texas is a
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state that you see in white texans and black texans. somebody was asking me the other day of a person from another state who told me that they celebrate emancipation day of another way, january 1 and there's people in virginia that do something in april. and they said why, how did texas manage to have their day of celebrating emancipation become a federal holiday it is because of the tenacity in the chauvinism of black texans who kept celebrating this holiday from 1866 up until today and when they left texas they would go to other states and say there's a holiday that we celebrate, you should celebrate it to i don't know that south carolinians and other people insist that people celebrate the holiday that they celebrated in south carolina or florida and
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other places. this mythology about texas there is no question when i was growing up we were raised to think that we were special people. because we were from texas and i think many black people took that seriously in many white people have taken very seriously. i don't think it's an coincidence that we end up as juneteenth as a holiday because black texans kept us alive and very insistent that this meant something and i think it does obviously ethic it means something to the country as a whole, my hope that juneteenth will be an umbrella holiday for the celebration of emancipation and other places as well but i think you're right there's a texas chauvinism that shows itself pretty clearly. host: linda and san francisco you were on with author annette
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gordon reed. caller: thank you, doctor reed you're an american treasure, that's all i have to say. you mentioned earlier you're surprised at the passage of juneteenth as a federal holiday and i wanted to know do you think this was a way to appease black people to cry at the narrative about reparations were the asian hate crime bill that is passed unanimously and very quickly? >> i want to know what do you think about that. i hear that on social media lot. host: thank you. guest: if people think that that's a naïve thought, the passage of a federal holiday is an important thing, juneteenth
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is important, we live by symbols which are unimportant, but those kinds of things, hate crime those are ex-potential questions and people might've thought that but it would be a naïve thought, i cannot see any way that anybody would say we got juneteenth so now we don't have to vote, no i'm not going to underestimate what people since of how they can get over on other people but it's not going to work that's a naïve hoax i think that juneteenth holiday almost became holiday last year i guess there was one senator who was blocking and this time he decided to let it go, when i said i was surprised i thought it might become a federal holiday but i thought it would be later in the year i was taken
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aback and going along on my virtual book to her and was it tuesday the house voted -- the senate voted i thought the president was overseas and he was but he came back and did this, the surprise going along saying one day this might become a federal holiday and i'm thinking later in the year end just like that it came to for richard in a blink of an eye. host: it was here serendipitous that your book came out right before the. .guest: when i was working on my book during the pandemic, i knew that the holiday thing was out there but that was not a primary motivation for writing the book or thinking negatively and sudden anyway but it was good timing. host: jackie indiana can you talk about how jefferson and
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hemmings research has received more acceptance since its first publication and why the writing of history has to be tested and rewritten. guest: my first book came a 1997 about thomas jefferson and sally hemmings and then it was about historians the historical profession and the way certain people who were writing about jefferson primarily handle this particular story, that was my real interest to say because i was not interested in improving this one way or another but one thing i did know that historians have been treating madison hemmings recollection in the recollection of other people in an unfair way so that's what my first book was about. the dma became a 1998 collaborated what i was saying so that led to general
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acceptance of the story and then most people went on to talk about other things thinking about the gender aspects and other aspects of slavery in the sea change that is taken place in the handling of talking about slavery, people branched out to other kind of things about writing history differently, this is what i've said before people talk about revisionist history i'm sure people heard that phrase, this is revisionist history and usually says revisionist majority but all historians, good historians are revising and i'm telling the same story over and over again like you read to your kids at night, they recognize them and they are seeking something different than what historians
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are doing, we are constantly finding new information and also we ask different questions about things if you're writing about the republic of texas and if you don't care about a question of race for many years people would've written about that and not fixated in the constitution that explicitly promote slavery and protect it or the provision that african-americans can't immigrate, free black people can they can be citizens. if you don't care about that and for most of history people writing about the texas republic wouldn't dwell on, they wouldn't think about but i'm hard-pressed to think of any graduate student in any young person over the last 20 or 30 years, more than that who wanted to write about the republic of texas who would
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not pause over those things, they understand that they shape the society, you cannot just say lack people don't count. or it doesn't matter were only going to fix it and talk about the things that deal with whites. those words are in the document. this generation of people will pay attention to that and maybe in the future depending on the pendulum and people will be interested in that. history is constantly evolving the writing of history is constantly evolving, as i said finding new information and to begin to ask different questions and very often those questions grow out of the things that are taking place today, you think to ask that what does it mean to
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say that people of black dissent cannot be citizens, how does that shape a culture what would it be like even after slavery is over how do you get rid of the racial hierarchy put in place by those words does it explain the lynching and burning somebody on the courthouse were in the 20th century or other kinds of lynchings. you see the connection between things that are happening today if you are expansive in your understanding about the past we are constantly looking for those things that help you explain the foundation of the society, the origins of the society and that's what history has to keep changing. host: about 30 minutes left in our conversation with professor annette gordon-reed, if you would like to dial in
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(202)748-8200 for those of you eastern and central time zone (202)748-8201 and mounted pacific and if you want to send a text (202)748-8903. please include your first name and your city if you do send a text and our next call is from robin and elkridge maryland. caller: hello doctor gordon reed. why do you think the leaders of the confederacy did not take more seriously the economic failure of the republic of texas as a place essentially only incontinence, one crop economy be to also some nations overseas who really lucked into trade with them because they were so explicitly a slaveholder republic. they try to hide slavery talking about a person's health and
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service but the texas constitution is explicit about all of this. people are stubborn and people were also, the plan available as it indicates there was people who wanted texas to become a part of the united states and hope for annexation by the united states and eventually statehood. so for the people who wanted just the republic that is one group of folks and the people that thought this to be a part of the united states that some of their problems that they would get protection from mexico and join the larger economy and they would go forward as part of the united states of america, for a lot of people that was the plan all along the failures of the republic may not have been surprising to them because ultimate goal was something else
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and that was to be statehood. host: roberto calling in from houston, texas. i'm a retired history teacher in texas and i have two points to make, one you evaded the issue, critical race theory is going to be coming up this is the state legislature and they want to forbid it i think you should put on your armor and come to austin and speak about the issue you would be the stumbling block and i hope to give more thought to it. either a retired history teacher has is a concern to only is age-appropriate to bring up the true history, we have a book that says forget the alamo come
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up with the true history and you keep mentioning the state constitution in this constitution and that, that is much too high of a level for gradeschool kids to be reading, if you get practical i wish to give it more thought i don't want you to say it now but i do think that's going to be a crucial question that someone from the republicans here in the state would want to hear from you. host: i think we got the point, annette gordon-reed. guest: i think when is it age-appropriate to talk about race and history, myra kelman is a writer who wrote a book about jefferson a biography of jefferson for people who are 5 s
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about slavery and sally hemmings and she does in a way that is brilliant and completely age-appropriate, i don't see why you couldn't talk about or raise the question about the texas republic and younger grades, i don't think there's a problem not reading the constitution but there's ways to write anything and i have seen really good books for young people and kids from the book i'm talking about now their elementary schools and middle schools in the wonderful youth biography of thomas jefferson that talks about all the stuff in age-appropriate way i think there's a way to do it. as for coming down there into talk about all of this there's plenty and people in texas that can hold down the fort on that
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matter i do know people got very aggressive about this this is for the citizens of texas to stand up against censorship and stand up against the idea that you can't talk about the truth i am of the mind that kids are more understanding than we think they are but i've seen so many examples of writing about these issues about recent slavery in children's books, i think it's not the case that there's not ways to bring the subjects before in a sensitive and reasonable way the young kids. host: another text no city or name, is renaming a school from jefferson middle school like so many in the u.s. to
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jefferson's -- hemmings middle school a solution that prompts the conversation rather than ripping away history. guest: i don't see any reason to call it jefferson hemmings because of their connection to a particular community or further contribution to the nation and that's why jefferson named a school after jefferson rossini purpose i wouldn't say the jefferson hemmings school solve the problem or the issue with that, i don't have a problem with the jefferson school as long as people talk about all aspects of jefferson's life he's had such an effective some aspect of american history and it's hard to move him to the side in a way i am poor, in that
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situation if you name that they keep that name in every one has a light to pickets hero and if you want to remain this for 70 today who is doing something that you think that represents your generation and represent your place better than i would say as well, do that but i would not see it as imperative, the demanding more from on the school harvard versus renaming and jefferson hemmings that would not be opposed but i don't think it solves the problem as jefferson and these are the things that people are concerned about with jefferson and slaveholders. host: kate and sacramento follows up on that in a sense in her question your thoughts on removal of the statutes of
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prominent confederates. >> prominent confederates i got on the record to say i don't see any reason why there should be stretches of confederates in public places and america. not just a racial question, people who fought against united states of america who tried to destroy the united states of america, battlefield for coming up ginsberg is on everybody's mind at this point in ginsberg two is a battlefield in one thing, symmetry is one thing and on public squares, it's an insult to union soldiers when you can talk about reconciliation and you can't make that choice for people who were killed and died during our the values for confederacy were
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announced and the vice president and it essentially is in fact not to be enslaved and that's a cornerstone, slavery is a cornerstone and there's nothing that we can get from them that we can't get without all the baggage that is there, confederates, i don't have any problem with the removal of the statutes and the attempt to the destruction of the united states of america, we will talk about those kinds of things but it doesn't have to be the statute.
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i would be for removing those statues from public places, public spaces, private properties, battlefield, that is different. host: doesn't surprise you right across the river from d.c. in arlington virginia the jefferson davis highway existed until about a year ago. >> it does not surprise me but it's an attempt as david wright said to reconcile a country that had been torn apart but going too far, going too far with that and not thinking about the feelings and the sensibility in one part of the citizenry of african-americans have been enslaved in the confederacy and unionist, white people in the north and south who made loyal to the american revelation we talk about johnson that was a
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good point that he believed in the american union. host: back to kate and sacramento's techs, he had a follow-up question what is your next plan book subject and might i suggest clara barton or lucy stone spoken abolitionist. host: i had a couple of projects that i had to interrupt that i ended up pushing aside for the moment in doing a second volume of the hemmings family story and taking them from charlottesville after jefferson dyson 1826 take it up to the civil war, and dropping them off at the beginning of the 20th century in the decades, the great war things change after that. world war i, modern world began in the old world that they were
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a part of, they are not coherent subject matter to me after that, maybe mention some people who continue one but basically the hemmings family story and i'm finishing the jefferson reader on race that i have been preparing for a while and they really want to knock this out pretty quickly i basically have collected all of his writings, significant writings on race, not just in the state of virginia but looking at his farm book in his memorandum book, his letters to call all of the discussions and his comments about race and annotated into a commentary about these kinds of things, that's what i'm working on now in my editor has been after me for a while to do a
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book about texas a big book about texas, this will take a career to do all three of these things and those of the next things down the pipe. host: john is in new york and you are on the air with annette gordon-reed. before we begin turned on the volume on your tv otherwise we will get an echo. >> yes. host: john is gone let's try evelyn and philadelphia, evelyn you're on air. caller: i have a question, two comments my husband james and i have been doing genealogy research all of our life in my husband his third great grandfather was killed by the union troops and that may
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national attention in the article the new york times but what my concern is and what i'm looking at is the fact, were both in her 80s and we have a story to tell and we tell it every chance we get we tell a chance about our ancestors and a thousand dna testing that my father was married a second time and married my mother for the third time and he was in pittsburgh and got involved in my father was born in 1894 and he was jailed he was jailed for three months in the coal mine so i've been doing the research on this, a very cruel system let's talk about the 13th amendment and how that abolished slavery, it did not because of that system people put back into bondage and treated worse than
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slavery, can you speak on that in terms of why do they always say the 13th amendment was slavery but it was not because it was on the policing system, can you respond to that, i appreciate it and good luck to you i have all of your books, i'm sitting here with the juneteenth is easy to read and not that many pages and i thank you for that. host: can you tell us a little bit about you and your husband. host: we've been married 65 years, we were very close to our grandparents, when we were kids coming up you just asked elderly people questions but one day i said to my grandmom i said were you slaved and she said no i was not a slave i had to wash a white woman's feet and i said to my grandmom you had to wash a white woman's feet. i didn't have the wherewithal to ask her the ladies name but i found out through the research and i said we travel all over
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the world and do research about black people will be trouble but give it away for my story i had a nephew that had a dna test and this young lady reached out to him and they communicated back and forth and finally she said i'm looking for my grandfather and he said oh yeah and she asked him these questions and she said you need to talk to my honey that's what she does and she says look and i said sure so she gave her my telephone number and we talked and finally she said i'm looking for my grandfather and i wondered if you could help me and i said let me get my pencil and paper and she says i'll e-mail it to you and she says my husband was on the computer and he said honey are you sitting down you know i'm sitting down and he gave me the paper and i found out that this young lady, her grandfather is my father and that's the
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start of me doing the research i have records of him being in jail and my father wasn't allowed to read or write, we have stories to tell and we tried to get our program together and get our paperwork together to our future generations. that's what we do all the time into senior sellers and we go to schools to teach kids and someone says were looking for so-and-so i did some research for a lady who is very prominent in this area and i found i had never done research where i found a slave who is related to someone who gave the narrative when they do and slave narratives. yeah. host: evelyn thank you for the extra background, we appreciate that. guest: is an interesting point,
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the 13th amendment will happen imprisoning systems and otherwise vacancy being arrested but they tried to enact laws back to slavery as possible and we talk about the aftermath of the civil war and down in the south i think the principal difference, the principal difference it allows people to be at the will of others and even prisons now but people aren't sold the differences one of the things that people celebrated juneteenth and one of the things that was important to them was the in of the legal ability to sell people children or spouses or their brothers or their sisters, slavery was a system of working without pay but being labeled poverty meant
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if it and slavery died and he had children enslaved people can be separated amongst these children who could live it disparate places and people can be separated from the families estate sales for money, whatever, those kinds of actions were traumatizing to enslaved people and after the end of slavery one of the first things that people do besides going to the freedman bureau in having their marriages was to look for relatives and go around and try to find my mother and my kids and my sister my brother and i really do think juneteenth it has become one of the aspects and is kept alive for 166 years as a family holiday people come together, they gather together and you can go through airports in the summer and you will see
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black people walking around with garish t-shirt on in the family union and the shaw family reunion this notion of gathering people together, i am convinced grows out of the trauma and the desire to keep people together because for 100 years in slavery people can be separated and the phrase never to be seen again you see that a lot the wpa and you'll see it again just imagine that if you lose relatives to death and sometimes an estrangement but not 70 coming in and say no we need money so your three children we will sell them to louisiana or whatever, that kind of thing left a mark in people have been trying to recruit to regroup from that ever since.
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host: annette gordon-reed aironet appears in her doctor joe for prominent retired couples in san antonio, i met them several times of the texas book festival in austin, mrs. pierce e-mail me separately to say the texas state history museum has abruptly canceled the speech by the authors of the new book on the alamo, i don't know if you're familiar with the book in texas is trying to keep the truth from competing with the myth, this is crazy and related to censorship, i know we touched on forget the alamo but i wanted to acknowledge in his e-mail. >> i heard about that situation it's kinda like the effect when you draw attention to things like this this will probably make people go out and read the
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book even more people don't like to have ideas and things kept from them but that's an unfortunate situation from the things that i read about it. i haven't read the book yet that should be on my nightstand next. host: will you be on the book festival circuit this fall. guest: i think so i'm supposed to be. i'm hoping they will be able to be there in person it's a virtual thing that is nice but it's also nice to be out and meet people in the atmosphere. host: texas is in person this year. neville in cleveland, ohio. caller: my question for professor gordon reed is related to sally hemmings, we all know
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the name sally hemmings and we know her story, what i miss is a visual and an image of the eviction of sally hemmings, uc him time to time that she had long straight hair down her head that she was african. but i don't see many sketches in alc many images, i don't see many pictures with sally hemmings and can doctor reid say
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something about the. guest: we don't have any of these pictures of her, we have a demanded idea for what she looks like in the reproductions of her, we don't have any pictures, there's nothing to go one, we don't really have pictures or images of jefferson's wife, we use the couple selects of her, they were destroyed and her father in her home was destroyed by fire but it's interesting that she apparently as a married woman and only descriptions of her, these two sisters were completely different in a place in the hierarchy and neither of them have these images and we would expect to have those of martha, maybe not sally hemmings
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in those images of the hemmings family are for her grandchildren that we have that we don't have pictures of martha or sally. host: this is a text from and page the high school social studies teachers of hamilton high school in hamilton math, my tenth grade colleague and i at the time on juneteenth in the summer reading assignment and honor student and make a decision regarding this book and we had conversations with students mostly white who were involved to the local human race community a few students expressed to us in gender, race, identity would only be assigned from authors identify for the community that they write about as a teacher i respect and understand where the students are coming from but i disagree in part with the argument and
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once they explore this argument for the summer and what are your thoughts on this belief. host: a lot to digest. guest: the idea that the students only want both of my people writing the community from which they come from. host: i think that's where were headed. these are young people and i don't agree with that some of the best about slavery for example in slavery racial base slavery but i understand that there is a desire and people writing about personal issues were part of the community, juneteenth is a memoir as well and to talk about growing up as a black person in texas, i
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understand why and no personal thing why they would want the individuals to be a member of the community but aside talking about straight history, white authors write about black people and i mentioned david on douglas and i write about thomas jefferson but the memoir part of it is more personal and i understand why they would have that and one thing i want to say to gordon reed i am not a doctor i fortunately in appointment in history even though i did things backwards and i wrote my books in the department and professor gordon reed.
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host: the next call for annette gordon-reed, go ahead. caller: hi, i read the trim is part of the program i hope i'm not reading the program for professor gordon reed i'm a retired maryland public school teacher and i'm upset about the controversy of 1619 project in the pew organization offering $5000 to underpaid school teachers to teach, whatever that is supposed to be. i'm really quite upset about it and i would like her knowledge or her opinion. host: thank you martha. guest: i know this is a controversial subject for
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people, i don't know about paying people or that program or what she's referring to, i think it's a point of discussion, is a point of discussion 1619 from what i read as a number of essays not just one essay i know the lead essay was one that cause problems for a number of people and other people thought it was problematic for one reason or another i think it should be discussed and i think there are other parts of it that i think would be illuminating to students and could be useful if there's opposing viewpoints then that could be discussed as well and i don't think as we were talking before about forget the alamo and other instances i
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don't think censoring things or stopping things from be discussed is the way to go, if it is out there it's in the public eye, students at an appropriate age should be made aware of those kinds of things and to discuss it and if there points a finger problematic you can raise those and bring opposing views and i think it's much better to discuss things and that's the bottom line that i have on this. host: were gonna close with this text, hi annette, remember me david hooper covid-19 77, i just texted mark evans to say you were on, question heavy senior mural on the square, what did you think, love your work. caller: undisputed this is amazing david cooper and i were very good friends yes i've seen
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it and i've also learned the name of the school after me in my hometown which shows you some of the changes that are taking place in the town over the years, i'm all for people have been very kind and very supportive of me. host: we have 30 seconds left, give us a history of this marrow, what happened, what is this. guest: some admirers in my mother's friends had a mural in my hometown and they put a bus of me as well and i went down for the unveiling of the bus and i wasn't there for the mural but it's wonderful i wish my parents were there to see all of this. host: which school will be named after you. guest: of an elementary school that they're building in 2022. host: annette borden read we also ask our authors what favorite book into sentences list to james baldwin, notes of a native son hg wells experiment
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and autobiography kindred by octavia butler the little prince in a single man by christopher currently reading the book by the hidden history of women loved slavery by rebecca hall and the cruelty by adam's were were in the papers of thomas jefferson and its another book buddies currently reading, annette gordon-reed has been our guest on book tv for the past few hours and we very
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>> what is the instrumental purpose of this book? what do you hope to accomplish and who do you hope to reach? >> i hope it will accomplish a couple of things. first of all i know realistically it will be read by more conservatives than people who are independent or liberal. i hope they get two things out of it. first of all arguments they can use in debates they m


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