Historians Discover Slave Quarters Of Sally Hemings In Thomas Jefferson's Mansion

Hemings was enslaved by the third president of the United States who bared six of his children. 

Time has established the unsettling fact that Thomas Jefferson was a slave holder who had an unwilling relationship with an enslaved woman by the name of Sarah "Sally" Hemings. Centuries later, more details have come to life about his hidden truths with the discovery of Hemings' slave quarters.

NBC News reports the findings came to be on Monday (July 3) by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, which was also the name of his mansion where he kept 600 slaves. Historians claim Hemings' room was looked over in the 60's when it was turned into a bathroom to accommodate the growing number of visitors to the mansion. Hemmings and her family were inherited by Jefferson in 1775/76 after the death of his wife Martha Jefferson. In addition to the then 14-year-old Hemings, Jefferson inherited 134 other slaves he put to work at his Monticello mansion.

Hemings would later give birth to her first child at 16 during Jefferson's (then 45) tenure in France. While Hemings could've stayed in the country, Jefferson promised her that any children she birthed by him would be free at the age of 21. She died at the age of 60 and was never formally freed by Jefferson. While Jefferson historians tried to deny the existence of Hemings and her seven children by Jefferson, a DNA test in the late 90's revealed decedents of Hemings were in fact related to Jefferson.

Gardiner Hallock, director of restoration for Jefferson’s mountaintop plantation, says Hemings' room could tell the young mother's story in a new light. “This discovery gives us a sense of how enslaved people were living. Some of Sally’s children may have been born in this room,” Hallock said. “It’s important because it shows Sally as a human being — a mother, daughter, and sister — and brings out the relationships in her life.”

Author Annette Gordon-Reed broke down the story between Jefferson and Hemings in her 1998 book, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy. The book broke down inconsistencies surrounding the legacy of Jefferson and those connected to Hemings. 

“For the first time at Monticello we have a physical space dedicated to Sally Hemings and her life,” Mia Magruder Dammann, a spokeswoman for Monticello added. “It’s significant because it connects the entire African American arch at Monticello.”

Historians at Monticello are currently working on The Mountaintop Project, a $35 million restoration project to uncover the stories of the enslaved and free African-Americans who lived on the Virginia property. Through Jefferson's work log, the names (or given) were discovered but it's been suspected that Jefferson didn't write anything about Sally Hemings in order to hide his crimes. The names of her children were found after they were listed as slaves.

Hemings' quarters reveled a stove and a fireplace. Historians are hopeful to find more artifacts to give life to Hemings and her family's story.

“This room is a real connection to the past,” Fraser Neiman, director of archeology at Monticello said. “We are uncovering and discovering and we’re finding many, many artifacts.”

Of course, the reveal of Hemings' quarters were overlooked when she was referred to as a "mistress" by the news outlet.

https://twitter.com/girlsreallyrule/status/882013749992857600

Find out more about Hemings' story here.

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Oprah Winfrey Explains Why She Pulled Out Of Russell Simmons Documentary

Oprah Winfrey severed ties with an upcoming documentary on Russell Simmons’ accusers, but the former talk show queen says that her decision isn't a “victory” for the Def Jam Records founder.

“This is not a victory for Russell,”  Winfrey told CBS This Morning on Tuesday (Jan. 21) while promoting her new health and wellness tour. “I unequivocally say that I did not pull out because of Russell. This is not a victory lap for him. I cannot be silenced by a Russell Simmons after all I've been through.”

Simmons has denied all allegations of sexual assault.

Though Winfrey  believes that the accuser's deserve to be heard, she made the “hard decision” to resign as executive producer of the film after new “information” emerged. Winfrey approached the filmmakers about her concerns and suggested that the film be pulled from the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

“I had said to them, 'Houston, I think we have a problem here' because new information had come forward.” Because the filmmakers opted not to pull the film, which is slated to premiere at the festival this weekend, Winfrey removed herself from the production team.

“You have the right to change your mind and make changes,” she added. “What this has taught me is, don't put your name on anything that you do not have creative control over.”

Watch the full interview below.

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Missy Elliott, H.E.R. Team Up For Pepsi Super Bowl Commercial

Missy Elliott and H.E.R. are teaming up to star in a Super Bowl commercial for Pepsi.  The 30-second commercial will plug Pepsi Zero Sugar’s new matte black can, Ad Age reports.

“We are about to drop some [fire],” Elliott captioned a photo from the commercial on social media on Tuesday (Jan. 21), to which the “Hard Place” singer who replied, “You’re legendary!!! Can’t wait!”

You’re legendary!!!! Can’t wait! 🔥 https://t.co/d3z6fsR2u8

— H.E.R. (@HERMusicx) January 21, 2020

Elliott previously appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for the PepsiCo brand, Mountain Dew, in 2018. Three years earlier, the Grammy winner performed during the Super Bowl halftime show as a surprise guest of Katy Perry. This year, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will take over the stage for half-time show sponsored by PepsiCo.

The Kansas City Chiefs will take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. The big game kicks off on Feb. 2, 2020.

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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Pays Tribute To His Late Father Rocky “Soulman” Johnson

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson's father was his hero.

The Jumanji star paid emotional tribute to his late father, WWE hall of famer, Rocky “Soulman” Johnson, in wake of the 75-year-old former wrestler's sudden death last week.

“I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way through this world,” Dwayne wrote last Friday (Jan. 17). “I was the boy sitting in the seat, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar.

“Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. I’m in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass. Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish. Finally,I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease.”

“I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son,” he wrote in closing.

In an additional post thanking fans for their support, Dwayne revealed that his father died from a “massive heart attack,” brought on by a blood clot.

Rocky was born in Canada on Aug. 24, 1944. He began wrestling at 16 years old, and launched his professional wrestling career a few years later. Following his pro debut, the then budding wrestler legally changed his name from Wayde Douglas Bowles to his wrestling moniker, “Rocky Johnson.”

Over his career Rocky earned numerous championships, including the National Wrestling Alliance Georgia Champion, and a NWA Southern Heavyweight Memphis Champions.

He joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1969 and formed “The Soul Patrol” with wrestling partner, Tony Atlas. The duo made history as the WWF’s first ever black World Tag Team champions.

Following his retirement in the ‘80s, Rocky began training his son, Dwayne, who went on to joint the WWF as “The Rock,” a nod to his father’s name. Besides Dwayne, the wrestling legend also had two older children, a daughter, Wanda, and son, Curtis.

Read Dwayne's full post below.

 

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I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar. The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am. The boy you raised with the toughest of love. The intense work. The hard hand. The adoring boy who wanted to know only your best qualities. Who then grew to become a man realizing you had other deeply complicated sides that needed to be held and understood. Son to father. Man to man. That’s when my adoration turned to respect. And my empathy turned to gratitude. Grateful that you gave me life. Grateful you gave me life’s invaluable lessons. Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. Im in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass. Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish. Finally, I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease. You lived a very full, very hard, barrier breaking life and left it all in the ring. I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high. #ripsoulman #rockyjohnson 🐐

A post shared by therock (@therock) on Jan 17, 2020 at 8:01am PST

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