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Fulfilling Dreams

Through the ordeal of slavery, the hope of Reconstruction, and the despair of the Jim Crow decades, Monticello’s enslaved families and their descendants kept their eyes on the future as they transmitted skills, talents, values, and a rich culture to their children and grandchildren. They were sustained by their religious faith, their belief in the importance of education, their drive to succeed, and, most importantly, the powerful bonds of family.

The members of Monticello’s African American community fought hard to keep their families together, defying slavery, a system that inherently divided them.

The church was and remains a cornerstone in descendants's lives, meeting spiritual and social needs in troubled times and circumstances.

Parents made sacrifices to educate their children, and descendants today, many of them teachers, recall how their elders stressed the importance of education.

Descendants of Monticello’s enslaved community achieved many “firsts” in government, in the military, and in the workplace.


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