Annette Gordon-Reed, author of ‘On Juneteenth’, to speak at VCU Libraries Black History Month – VCU News

Annette Gordon-Reed, the first African-American recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in history and one of the most authoritative voices on race and history in America, will deliver the 21st annual Black History Month of VCU libraries.

Gordon-Reed, professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University and professor of Carl M. Loeb University in Harvard Law School, is the author of six books, including ” The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family ”which received the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2009 and the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2008; and his most recent work, “On Juneteenth”, published in 2021.

At VCU, Gordon-Reed will give a talk based on “On Juneteenth,” which weaves American history, dramatic family chronicle and memoirs to reveal the story of Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. . June 15 has become a federal holiday in 2021.

“On Juneteenth” provides a historian’s perspective on the country’s long journey to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and the enormous hardships African Americans have endured over the century. from Reconstruction to Jim Crow and beyond, ”according to publisher, Liveright. Keenly aware of the stories of cowboys, ranchers and tankers who have long dominated Lone Star State lore, Gordon-Reed – herself originally from Texas and descended from slaves brought to Texas as early as the 1820s – forges a new and deeply truthful account of her original state, with implications for us all.

Gordon-Reed’s lecture will be free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, go to

The event will take place at 7 p.m. on February 10 in the Cabell Lecture Hall at the James Branch Cabell Library, 901 Park Ave. It will also be broadcast live to registered participants.

“Annette Gordon-Reed’s work speaks to our times, illuminating history that does not shrink from the heartbreaking and tragic, but is based on scrupulous scholarship and examination of primary source documentation. She embodies the academic research that makes a librarian’s heart sing, ”said Irene Herold, Ph.D., Dean of Libraries and University Librarian.

After the talk, Gordon-Reed will answer questions from the audience and sign copies of the book, which will be available for sale on site.

Gordon-Reed’s other books include “Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy” – an academic review of the relationship between Jefferson and Hemings, which exposes the possibility that academics were misled by their own biases. and may even have distorted evidence to preserve their pre-existing views of Jefferson. His book “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination” features a study of Jefferson’s character that challenges the scientific status quo on his portrayal throughout history. And his next book, “A Jefferson Reader on Race”, is expected to be published in 2022.

Gordon-Reed’s honors include the National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama; a Guggenheim scholarship; and a MacArthur scholarship. She was also elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a member of the Academy’s Humanities and Social Sciences Commission. In 2019, she was elected a fellow of the American Philosophical Society.

His talk will be the 21st Black History Month conference organized by VCU Libraries. Last year’s event featured Marcia Chatelain, Ph.D., author of “Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America,” which chronicles how fast food has become one of the greatest generators of black wealth. in America and who went on to receive the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for History.