Marian Miner Cook
Athenaeum

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC

 

On Juneteenth

Thu, February 17, 2022
Dinner Program
Annette Gordon-Reed

Weaving together American history, family chronicle, and personal memoir in her most recent book On Juneteenth, Annette Gordon-Reed, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University, provides a historian’s view of the country’s long road to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and the enormous hardships that African-Americans have endured in the century since, from Reconstruction through Jim Crow and beyond. 

Professor Gordon-Reed will deliver the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies' 2022 Lerner Lecture on Hinge Moments in History; her Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by CMC's Presidential Initiative on Anti-Racism and the Black Experience in America.

Annette Gordon-Reed is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University where she holds appointments in the history department and the Law School. She is the award-winning author of six books. Her latest book, On Juneteenth, sets out to capture the integral importance of the holiday to American history. It quickly became a New York Times bestseller, was featured on the magazine’s 100 Notable Books list, and chosen as one of its the top five non-fiction books of the year. 

A Texas native and the descendent of enslaved people brought to Texas as early as the 1820s, Gordon-Reed is also the author of The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, which won the Pulitzer Prize in history and the National Book Award for nonfiction—along with fourteen other awards. It explores the inconsistencies of Jefferson’s stance on slavery and his relationship with enslaved woman Sally Hemings, and has been called “the best study of a slave family ever written” by noted Jefferson scholar Joseph Ellis. Her other books include Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy—a rich examination of scholarly writing on the relationships between Jefferson and Hemings, which exposes the possibility that scholars were misguided by their own biases and may even have contorted evidence to preserve their preexisting opinions of Jefferson. Her other book, "Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination, presents a provocative character study of Jefferson that challenges much of the scholarly status quo on his portrayal throughout history. Gordon-Reed’s upcoming title, A Jefferson Reader on Race, is set to be published in 2022.

Her honors include the National Humanities Medal, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship. Gordon-Reed was also elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a member of the Academy’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2019, she was elected a Member of the American Philosophical Society.

Professor Gordon-Reed will deliver the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies' 2022 Lerner Lecture on Hinge Moments in History; her Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by CMC's Presidential Initiative on Anti-Racism and the Black Experience in America.

 

Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

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