African American Museum Presents ‘Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello’

Tickets are now on sale for ‘Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty’ – a groundbreaking and widely acclaimed exhibition with a powerful message.

The exhibit will show from Sept. 22 through Dec. 31 at the African American Museum in historic Fair Park.

Dallas will be the first city to host the updated touring exhibition, which brings to life the story of slavery at Monticello through more than 300 objects, works of art, documents, and artifacts unearthed at the storied plantation.

The exhibition features new items never seen outside of Monticello, including a special feature on Sally Hemings, one of the most famous African American women in American history. As an enslaved woman at the age of 16, Hemings negotiated with one of the most powerful men in the nation, ensuring she would receive “extraordinary privileges” and achieve freedom for her children. Jefferson fathered at least six children with Hemings, four of whom survived to adulthood.

“America’s history is complex and often contradictory,” said Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter’s House of Dallas. “Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty explores how the author of the Declaration of Independence who introduced a fledgling nation to the concept that all men are created equal could own slaves while 20 percent of Americans were also held in chains and designated 3/5 human. How do we view such contradictory posturing through a 21st-century lens? I urge people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds to come and discover the other side of American History.”

Harry Robinson, Jr., president, and CEO of the African American Museum said hosting the exhibit is a tremendous privilege.

“We are excited to welcome not only visitors – but thousands of schoolchildren – to come learn about this significant period in our country’s history,” he said.

‘Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty’ is organized by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello and the African American Museum, Dallas in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities and in cooperation with the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs and VisitDallas.

“Our sweeping American story, wonderful and woeful as it is, leaves out too many people whose contributions have been ignored or denied,” said Gayle Jessup White, Monticello’s community engagement officer, and a Hemings family and Jefferson descendant. “This exhibit returns those forgotten men, women, and children to the American narrative, restoring to them not only their place in history but also their very humanity.”

Gayle Jessup White

District 7 Councilman Kevin Felder vowed to bring the exhibit to Dallas after meeting Jessup White in a cab.

“This exhibition delivers a powerful message, one that has the potential to educate, inspire and promote greater understanding, which is something we now need more than ever,” he said. 

Tickets for the exhibit are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and children, and free for those 3 and under. Admission is free on Thursdays for seniors 65 years and older.

For details and to purchase individual, group and school field-trip tickets, please go to MonticelloinDallas.com. (Tickets also may be purchased at the Museum.)

Bianca R. Montes

Bianca Montes is an award-winning journalist with a background in crime and government reporting and an obsession with all things culture and arts. She serves as the Managing Editor for Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, curating content for the Living Well and Faith sections, as well as producing the Fall and Spring society sections and 20 Under 40. From luncheons to galas to exhibition openings to new Dallas restaurants, you can find her out and about on Instagram @Bianca_TBD or @peoplenewspapers You can also reach her by email at [email protected] For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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