Saturday, February 18, 2023

11:30 AM – 12:25 PM

Trinity United Methodist Church

225 W. President Street, Savannah, GA 31401


Gayle Jessup White


Gayle Jessup White had long heard the stories passed down from her father’s family that they were direct descendants of Thomas Jefferson—lore she firmly believed, though others did not. For over four decades the acclaimed journalist and genealogy enthusiast researched her connection to Jefferson. After becoming an International Center for Jefferson Studies Fellow, Jessup White learned the truth. Poring through photos and documents and pursuing DNA evidence, she discovered that she and the Founding Father are related, and that she is in fact the great-great-great-granddaughter of Peter Hemings, Sally Hemings’s brother.

In Reclamation, Jessup White chronicles her remarkable journey to definitively understand her heritage and claim it as her own. Readers will be pulled in by the stunning lyrical prose, singular authentic voice, and powerful testimony that calls for America’s ongoing racial reckoning. Reclamation offers a compelling portrait of what it means to be a Black woman in America, to pursue the American dream, to reconcile the legacy of racism, and to ensure the nation lives up to the ideals advocated by her legendary ancestor.


Gayle Jessup White is the Public Relations and Community Engagement Officer at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s legendary estate. A former award-winning television reporter and anchor, Jessup White started her career at the New York Times. She has written and spoken extensively about her work at Monticello and currently lives in Virginia.


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