By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 18, 2022
In 1970 while I was a faculty member at Fordham University, New York, I taught a course on the development of Afro-American literature. One of the books I used was William Wells Brown, Clotel or the President’s Daughter: A Narrative of Slave Life in the United States, published in England in 1853.
The novel told the story of Clotel, a daughter of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, who fathered three children by his slave, Sally Hemmings. Although the white power structure denied this incident for two centuries, in November 1998 the truth of this claim was authenticated by DNA evidence.
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