Annette Gordon-Reed and Titus Kaphar — Are We Actually Citizens Here?

June 29, 2017

In life, in families, we shine a light on the past to live more abundantly now. In this conversation at the Citizen University annual conference, historian Annette Gordon-Reed and painter Titus Kaphar lead us in an exploration of that as a public adventure. She is the historian who introduced the world to Sally Hemings and the children she had with Thomas Jefferson, and so realigned a primary chapter of the American story with the deeper, more complicated truth. He collapses timelines on canvas, and created iconic images after Ferguson. Both are reckoning with history in order to repair the present.

Annette Gordon-Reed is the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School and a professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. Her books include the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family and “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination.

Titus Kaphar lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut. His art has been included in solo and group exhibitions from the Savannah College of Art and Design and the Museum of Modern Art to the Seattle Art Museum. His 2014 Ferguson artwork was commissioned by TIME magazine. He has received numerous awards, including the Artist as Activist Fellowship from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.