2009 Anisfield-Wolf Award winner Annette Gordon-Reed had the distinct privilege of being awarded a MacArthur “Genius” grant, which is a $500,000 prize for individuals with an exceptionally high level of creativity in their work. The grant is a no-strings-attached award, designed to let the winners continue to produce high-quality work without financial worry. Here is Annette’s video on how she began work on her book, The Hemmingses of Monticello, and what being a MacArthur Fellow means to her.
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December 31, 2011
Dr. Gordon-Reed, I am in the middle of your fabulous book, THE HEMINGSES OF MONTICELLO. Having recently finished a biography of George Washington (Ron Chernow), I read that Martha Washington had a half sister (who lived with her for her entire life, and served as her personal assistant) named Dandridge (Martha’s maiden name). Apparently Ms. Dandridge was also a slave. I was curious about the possible connection to Dorothy Dandridge, as well as the history of Martha’s sister.