Monticello Director Responds to Washington Post Article
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Monticello's Director of African-American History says she is getting a lot of positive support on social media after an article in the Washington Post.
Sunday's article talks about guests who called into question the historic site's focus on African-American history. The article dives into the backlash from some visitors not responding well to plantations across the country, putting the focus on telling the horrors of slavery.
Niya Bates says Monticello is very careful to make sure it is giving the most accurate depiction of Thomas Jefferson's life, which included the full interpretation of slavery. Bates feels that the reports fail to include key information on institutions like Monticello that are having tough conversations about slavery.
"They leave out how critical this work is for everyone in our country," Bates said. "It's not just history for black Americans or white Americans...it's history for anyone looking to understand who we are as a nation."
Guests at Monticello can take the Hemming family tour to get a perspective of enslaved life at Monticello.
Bates also leads the Getting Word Oral History project at Monticello. The project records the memories and perspectives of descendants of the enslaved community and it is currently being added to.