This painting by Titus Kaphar is called “The Myth of Benevolence”.
It rolls back the curtain (canvas) on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.
It reveals how the real history of America has been whitewashed.
Sarah “Sally” Hemings was part of the “inheritance” Martha (Thomas Jefferson’s wife) received from her father.
Sally Hemings was 2 years old when she was brought to Monticello (Jefferson’s home) with her mother Betty Hemings. One of six children Martha’s father had with Betty.
It was common practice for plantation owners to have as many children as they wanted with their slaves.
Sally was 9 years of age when her half-sister – Martha, died in 1782.
It’s not clear when Thomas Jefferson started to rape Sally Hemings. The first records appear to be when he brought her to Paris, as the US Minister to France. He 44, she was 14 years old.
Jefferson had six children with Sally Hemings. She was 14 when their first child was born.
For many years US government authorities, historians and Jeffersons white ancestors strenuously denied it, until DNA evidence proved otherwise.
Once the DNA evidence proved to be conclusive, then was born the myth of how Sally was Jeffersons lover. This lie continues to be embroidered to this day in “romantic” articles, novels and movies.
Sally was neither his mistess or his lover.
She was his property.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Why didn’t Jefferson free her? Not even on his death bed in 1826. Sally remained a slave on the Jefferson plantation until she died in 1835.
The next time you see videos of a shop being looted, think.
THINK about what has been stolen by white America, for hundreds of years.
Think about the word “property”.
Think about how many Americans still view African Americans as “outsiders” and inferior.
I am not saying this justifies the damage to property, people or theft.
I am only asking for us to see the WHOLE Picture.
There is more under the canvas of America than we can even begin to imagine.