All in the Family

It's getting hard to tell who's white or black

Reading the papers last week, I came across an intriguing story about the first reunion of Thomas Jefferson's descendants since a high-tech paternity test established that our third President fathered at least one son by one of his slaves, Sally Hemings. It got me thinking about my own white relatives and my strained relationship with them.

To paraphrase Tolstoy, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. While I can't imagine spending eternity at the side of a slave master, some of Hemings' descendants want to be buried in the family cemetery at Monticello. But some of the 700-member all-white...

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