Friday, February 13, 2004

Jefferson's Children : The Story of One American Family

Jefferson's Children : The Story of One American Family. This is a review of the book by Shannon Lanier. It is reviewed by Julie Lorenzen.

From the review:

Shannon Lanier, author of Jefferson's Children: The Story of One American Family, has always wanted to tell people that he is the sixth great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings. However, until recently, he has had trouble getting people to believe him. The idea that a descendant of a slave is related to our third U.S. President has been controversial. It also didn't help that Lanier's family didn't have any historical documents to back up their claim because records of slaves are rare.

For example when Lanier, who is black, stood up on President's Day and told his first-grade class he was a descendant of Thomas Jefferson, his teacher called him a liar. The history books did not recognize the relationship between Hemings and Jefferson and all Lanier had as proof was an Oral History passed down from generation to generation.

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