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Helping descendants of slaves find family
The Daily Progress Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 10 p.m.
Andrew Mitchell Davenport and Gayle Jessup White’s families had always said they were related to Sally Hemings, one of the third president’s slaves.
“It took a long time for me to be recognized and for my family to be recognized,” said White, who is Monticello’s community engagement officer and who is descended from Thomas Jefferson. “But we always knew Monticello was a black place. And what that means is that it’s our history, and African-American history is America’s history.”
Davenport, White and several other descendants of slaves, frequently calling each other “cousins,” led a panel Friday about the search for black family history at Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier and Highland, historic home of James Monroe.

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