Searching for Sally Hemings: A Conversation with Author Annette Gordon-Reed
(Originally broadcast January 8, 2009) Before winning the MacArthur award, Professor Gordon-Reed sat down for a lengthy interview on Basic Black to discuss her book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.
Professor and author Annette Gordon-Reed is best known for her 1997 book, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy. In that examination of the 38-year liaison between the third president and his house slave, Gordon-Reed looked at how historians and biographers had disregarded evidence of the affair; DNA tests have since proved that Jefferson indeed fathered children with Hemings.
Gordon-Reed discusses her new book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. Winner of the 2008 National Book Award for nonfiction, her return to the subject offers an exhaustive account of the Hemings family saga.