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Thousands Join Public Summit on Race and Slavery at Monticello

On September 17, 2016, Monticello along with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Virginia, hosted a public summit on the legacies of race and slavery. The summit was the capstone event of Human/Ties, a four-day celebration of the NEH's 50th anniversary. We were joined by thousands on the West Lawn of Jefferson's famous home to learn from the past and grapple with issues that face us today. 

Memory, Mourning, Mobilization: Legacies of Slavery and Freedom in America featured leading academics like Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Annette Gordon-Reed, artists like Nikki Giovanni, activists like Bree Newsome, descendants of Monticello's enslaved families and community members. 

"It is powerful to be here," said summit speaker Melody Barnes. "Monticello embodies...so much of what we have to grapple with, and it tells us so much about who we are."

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Summit Recap

 

Summit Slideshow
All photos © Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. Use only with permission.

 

The Monticello Summit was the capstone event of Human/Ties, a four-day celebration of the National Endowment for the Humanities' 50th anniversary, hosted by the NEH and the University of Virginia with leading support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Thomas Dunstan Lonner's picture
I was depressed by my first and only visit to Monticello by what I considered to be a copout by the institution on the issue of slavery and the Great Man, the distance between his voice and his actions. I understand that the decision about the discrepancy is intended to be made by each visitor, especially as its raises the visibility of the slavery experience and its legacy in its museum function. But somehow its presentation of a polymath, politician, author, and so on seemed to overwhelm what, if any opinion, the institution had. So, I was gratified to find the Monticello Summit online to address the past in the present and wish the consensus about our Union and its peoples were more clearly presented to those expecting more from Monticello.
Thomas Dunstan ...

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