Montclair Public Library presents activist and memoirist Gayle Jessup White in conversation with award-winning journalist Dionne Ford (“Slavery’s Children”), on Thursday, December 2, at 7 p.m. The two will discuss White’s debut memoir, “Reclamation.”
The book explores White’s journey to come to terms with her heritage and views America’s racial reckoning through the prism of her legendary ancestors—both the enslaver and the enslaved. This program is part of Open Book / Open Mind Online, the live webcast version of our popular, long-running literary conversation series. After the discussion, audience members will participate in a virtual Q&A session with the author.
Gayle Jessup White is the public relations & community engagement officer at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s estate. A former award-winning television reporter and anchor, Jessup White started her career at the New York Times. She has written and spoken extensively about her work at Monticello. She is a direct Jefferson descendant, and is also related to two well-documented families enslaved at Monticello—the Hemingses and the Hubbards. She lives in Virginia.
“Reclamation” was published on November 16 and has already garnered much attention. “In a real-life version of ‘Roots,’ Gayle Jessup White’s compelling exploration of her family ties to Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings’ family demonstrates that America’s complex racial history is written in our DNA.”—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Dionne Ford is the co-editor of the anthology “Slavery’s Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race and Reconciliation” and the author of the forthcoming memoir “Finding Josephine,” about her own enslaved ancestor. Ford’s work has appeared in The New York Times, LitHub, and Ebony among other publications. She is a longtime resident of Montclair and a member of the Open Book / Open Mind advisory board.
Montclair Public Library Presents Gayle Jessup White in Conversation with Dionne Ford
“Reclamation: Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson, and a Descendant’s Search for Her Family’s Lasting Legacy”
Registration: Open now
Platform: Zoom Webinar