Note: We're reposting WMUK's interview with Shannon Lanier to coincide with his appearance today on NPR. It originally published on Feb. 19, 2018.
When Shannon LaNier was a boy, he told his classmates that President Thomas Jefferson was his great grandfather. His teacher didn't see how that was possible. LaNier looks black. She instructed him to stop lying. Now, he says, DNA and other evidence supports the story that had been passed down in his family of its connection to Jefferson and enslaved woman Sally Hemings. LaNier speaks in Kalamazoo on Feb. 27.