Monticello offers a unique historic perspective on the racial fissures that divide our communities and our nation. On this plantation, 607 people were enslaved by the founding father who wrote “all men are created equal” – Thomas Jefferson. We condemn the violence and inequities that Black Americans continue to endure because of systemic racism in America, rooted in our nation’s history with race-based slavery.
For two centuries, marginalized individuals and groups have used the words Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence about the “self-evident” truth of human equality and the universal right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” to stake their claim to full American citizenship. We need these words to have meaning in our country today.
We stand against hatred, racism and bigotry in all its forms, and we are deeply saddened by the pain and suffering endured by Black Americans and other marginalized communities. As an International Site of Conscience, and the only American slave plantation on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, we are committed to bringing an honest, inclusive history forward – providing common ground for all Americans – and working with community partners to advance essential perspectives on race.