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Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Annette Gordon-Reed, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University, will join the Museum of the American Revolution virtually on Thursday, September 24, 2020, at 6 p.m. to examine how we can wrestle with—and have honest dialogue about—the complexities in our nation’s history.

The event is part of the Carl M. Buchholz Memorial Lecture series. Admission is free, but reservations are required here to attend this live virtual event. The event begins at 6 p.m. but attendees are encouraged to log on early for previews of upcoming events.

During her talk, titled “The Past in the Present: Dealing with Troublesome Histories,” Gordon-Reed will explore how many of the people and institutions we admire were born in eras when the lives of Black people, women, and Indigenous people were devalued. She asks, how do we find our way to a usable past? The talk will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

“As we continue our mission to uncover and share surprising stories about our shared past, this series of lectures, held in Carl’s memory, provides a wonderful opportunity to do that,” said Dr. R. Scott Stephenson, Museum President and CEO. “We are incredibly fortunate to have esteemed historian Annette Gordon-Reed return to the Museum for this timely and necessary conversation, which we are excited to make free and accessible to all this year.”

Gordon-Reed will draw on her Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, which explores the enslaved Hemings family and casts new light on the relationship between Sally Hemings and her master, Thomas Jefferson. She previously spoke to a sold-out crowd at the Museum about Jefferson with Peter S. Onuf in 2018 as part of the Museum’s Read the Revolution Speaker Series.

“[The Hemingses of Monticello is] a brilliant book…It marks the author as one of the most astute, insightful, and forthright historians of this generation.” – New York Review of Books

Welcome remarks and introductions will be made by Dr. R. Scott Stephenson, Museum President and CEO, and Julia Buchholz, daughter of Carl Buchholz and Museum Board Member Karen Buchholz.

The event marks the third annual Carl M. Buchholz Memorial Lecture, a series established by the generosity of the family, friends, and colleagues of the late Carl Buchholz, former vice chairman of the Museum’s Board of Directors. The series was created to honor his public service and to explore the political thought of the American Revolution and its national relevance today. Those interested in contributing to the endowment for this annual lecture can contact [email protected].

Annette Gordon-Reed is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard. Gordon-Reed won sixteen book prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2009 and the National Book Award in 2008 for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton, 2008). In addition to articles and reviews, her other works include Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy (UVA Press, 1997); Vernon Can Read! A Memoir, a collaboration with Vernon Jordan (PublicAffairs, 2001); Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History (Oxford University Press, 2002); Andrew Johnson (Times Books/Henry Holt, 2010); and, most recently, with Peter S. Onuf, “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (Liveright Publishing, 2016).

Funding for the 2020 Carl M. Buchholz Memorial Lecture is provided by Morris W. Offit, Karen Buchholz, Stephen Schwab, and Martha McGeary Snider.

This event is presented in partnership with WURD 96.1 FM | 900AM.

About Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution uncovers and shares compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government. Through the Museum’s unmatched collection, immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and interactive elements, visitors gain a deeper appreciation for how this nation came to be and feel inspired to consider their role in ensuring that the promise of the American Revolution endures. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum, which opened on April 19, 2017, is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit or call 877.740.1776.