Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Bradley - ESSENTIAL

Bradley, Kimberly Jefferson’s Sons, 360 pgs.  The Penguin Group, 2011.  $17.99.  Language: G (no swears); Mature Content G; Violence G
Thomas Jefferson had seven children by one of his slaves, Sally Hemings, who was two years younger than his oldest child.  Even though Jefferson’s wife had died, a romantic slaveholder/slave relationship was considered unacceptable.   These children of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings were strictly forbidden to acknowledge Jefferson as their father. 
Throughout the course of this book, the children struggle with the concept that their father penned the Declaration of Independence which states:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” yet still held 130 slaves. 
I found myself empathetic to the plight of these children who were too black to white, and too white to be black. EL/MS –ESSENTIAL.  Reviewer: Rebekkah Ward

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