Dear Brian--I read your blog with great interest and posted a reply but I'm not sure it "took." So I thought I'd send you what I wrote:
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I greatly enjoyed your insightful and fascinating blog--so beautifully written, moving and honest--but I was struck by one statement. You wrote:
"I might get this wrong because I haven't followed this whole thing. But, I think that was pretty significant because I think the Carr family was kind of a roadblock to the black side of the family (the Hemings) being accepted as descendants of Thomas Jefferson."
Actually, the exact opposite is true. The Carrs themselves have a family association that includes members of both African and European descent. The "Virginia Carrs" have long recognized that the "Ohio Carrs" are descended from Samuel Carr and Judith Barnett, and both sides have embraced their blended ancestry. In fact, the mutual black-white acceptance of the Carr family has stood in stark contrast to the Monticello Association's refusal to acknowledge their Hemings cousins. Additionally, the M.A., which was formed about 80 years ago to maintain the Jefferson graveyard, has refused to grant the Carrs membership in the Association, even though the graveyard was created for Dabney Carr, Jefferson's best friend and brother-in-law, and the first person buried there. The Carrs have long been "inclusive" folks, and the (white) Jeffersons would do well to emulate them.
Thanks for the correction. As I said, I'm pretty new to this whole thing. I apologize for the mistake and any offense it may have caused.
Oh...one more thing...it was Janet Carr and Linda Carr-Kraft, both (white) Virgina Carrs, who began the "We Are Family" song...which has become the theme song for gatherings of the "greater" Carr/Jefferson/Hemings families. It never fails to move me, also. Linda says we need to write more verses! Care to contribute?Another bad assumption on my part.
You are a fine writer, Brian. I look forward to reading more of your pieces.
Best wishes always,
Debbie, thanks for taking the time to read my piece and comment on it. And, thanks for the compliment. I also appreciate your setting the record straight. I guess if I ever become a newspaper reporter, I'll have to hire a fact checker. ;-)