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Reclamation : Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson, and a descendant's search for her family's lasting legacy / Gayle Jessup White.

Chronicling her remarkable journey to definitively understand her heritage and reclaim it, a black descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings' family offers a compelling portrait to ensure the nation lives up to the ideals advocated by her legendary ancestor.
White had long heard the stories that her father's family were direct descendants of Thomas Jefferson. For four decades she researched her connection to Thomas Jefferson, to confirm its truth once and for all. Poring through photos and documents and pursuing DNA evidence, she learned that not only was she a descendant of Jefferson on his father's side; she was also the great-great-great-granddaughter of Peter Hemings, Sally Hemings's brother. Here she chronicles her journey to definitively understand her heritage and reclaim it. In doing so White offers a compelling portrait of what it means to be a black woman in America, to pursue the American dream, to reconcile the legacy of racism, and to ensure the nation lives up to the ideals advocated by her legendary ancestor. -- adapted from jacket

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780063028654
  • ISBN: 0063028654
  • Physical Description: xix, 266 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), genealogical tables ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2021]

Content descriptions

Formatted Contents Note:
Eastland Gardens -- Deanwood -- Las Vegas: a turning point -- Washington, DC: the Jefferson question -- Howard University -- Roots -- Chicago -- Georgia -- Wedding of the year -- A prayer and a poem -- An ode to the Jessups -- Marriage -- Death always comes in threes -- Richmond -- The dome room -- Eva Taylor -- mysterious as ever -- Paternity test -- RIP, Chocolate City -- "A slave girl named Sally" -- The plot thickens -- The Randolphs -- Cousins -- DNA does not lie -- What's in a name? -- The Robinsons -- Whitewashing history -- A coffee shop chat -- My ancestors' footsteps -- Velma & Ruth -- Charlottesville -- Sally Hemings Robinson -- Homecoming.
Subject: White, Gayle Jessup, 1957- > Family.
Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826 > Family.
Hemings, Sally > Family.
Jefferson family.
Hemings family.
African American families > Genealogy.
Racially mixed people > United States > Biography.
African Americans > Biography.

Available copies

  • 20 of 20 copies available at SPARK Libraries. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Somerset County Federated Library System. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Meyersdale Public Library.


  • 0 current holds with 20 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Meyersdale Public Library 973.4 WHITE (Text) 30512005407372 MEYM Non-Fiction Available -

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