O’Connor Institute Series Features Monticello

‘Paradox of Liberty’ examines Jefferson and slavery at the plantation

As part of the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute’s ongoing Constitution Series: Equality and Justice For All, the next free online forum will be “Paradox of Liberty: Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello.” The event will be held Aug. 26. Guest speakers include Gayle Jessup White and Dr. Emilie Johnson from the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello. It will also include a live audience Q&A.

Gayle Jessup White is a descendant of Thomas Jefferson and the Hemings and Hubbard families, both enslaved at Monticello. White, Monticello’s first public relations and community engagement officer, has written and spoken extensively about her work at Monticello and her family’s ties to Thomas Jefferson, his extended family and the enslaved community.

Johnson is an associate curator at Monticello. Her research focuses on late-18th and early-19th century American material culture and architecture. At Monticello, she focuses on the lived experiences of women and enslaved people. She earned her doctorate at the University of Virginia.

“Paradox of Liberty” will share the stories of six enslaved families at Monticello in addition to examining the life of Sally Hemings, the enslaved woman who bore Jefferson six children. The forum will be moderated by Chevy Humphrey, a board member of the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute, CEO of the Arizona Science Center and board chair of the American Alliance of Museums, which consist of 35,000 individual museum professionals and institutions.

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