Press Release

February 8, 2001

Jefferson's Children: The Story of One American Family Chronicles Descendants of Thomas Jefferson February 24

When Shannon Lanier was in the first grade, he stood up on Presidents' Day and announced to the class that Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, was his ancestor. No one believed him because he was black. In 1998, DNA evidence showed that the third president of the United States had had a relationship with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings, after his wife Martha's death. At 21 years-old, Shannon Lanier is a sixth-great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Lanier will discuss the book he co-authored with Jane Feldman as he presents Jefferson's Children: The Story of One American Family, at the Main Library, 800 Vine Street, on Saturday, February 24, 2:00 p.m.

Lanier, a Cincinnati native, traces his lineage through Thomas and Sally's son Madison Hemings. He is a junior at Kent State University, where he is majoring in electronic media production with a minor in business. In Cincinnati, Lanier was host of the Emmy-Award winning television show "Real Exchange," which explored issues important to today's young people. He also hosted "Good Morning Kent," a live daily broadcast from Kent State University, and has worked as a peer leader and mentor in various youth empowerment programs, including Teen Institute Drug Free Program, a national non-profit group which promotes a drug free lifestyle for teens and provides counseling and guidance for teenagers in need.

The free program is made possible by the Library Programs Fund. Copies of Mr. Lanier's book will be available for purchase through the Library Friends' Shop, and a book signing will follow. Information: 369-6970.

Interpreter available upon request for the hearing impaired. Please call 513-369-6944 [TDD 513-369-6946] at least one week before program.

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