From the sixth great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson and his African-American slave Sally Hemmings comes an anthology of Jefferson’s living descendants. Perfect for fans of Unbroken and The Boys in the Boat.
Told in the style of a family photo album—with a combination of photographs and interviews—Jefferson’s Children is the riveting story of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemming’s sixth great-grandson, Shannon Lanier’s, travels across the country to meet his relatives from both sides of the family. The profiles contained chart the multiple perspectives of Jefferson’s and Hemming’s descendants, from those who embrace their heritage to those who want nothing to do with Jefferson’s legacy. A fascinating picture soon emerges, one that begins with a pairing of two individuals with vastly disparate levels of power—on the one side, the third president of the United States and the author of the Declaration of Independence; on the other, the woman who was his property—and that ultimately represents America’s complicated history with issues of diversity and race and the unusual ways in which we define family.
“The portraits that emerge are as generous and jumbled as America itself.” —The New York Times
“A book about American history, racial identity and the bonds of family that will help young people navigate these difficult areas.” —Black Issues Book Review
WINNER 2001 - ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Shannon LaNier, a descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, grew up believing that he had inherited the best of both worlds. Now a second year communications major at Kent State University, he was the host of the Emmy Award-winning television show Real Exchange, which explores issues important to young people.
Jane Feldman is a professional photographer whose striking work has gained international attention in the field of advertising and among nonprofit organizations that promote youth empowerment. She is also the coauthor and photographer of Jeffersons Children: The Story of One American Family, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. The author lives in New York City and the Berkshire Mountains.