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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

Year in Review: Legacy of President Jefferson & Slave Sally Hemings

Courtesy photo | Shannon LaNier

On New Year's Day, WMUK rebroadcast our interview with Shannon LaNier, believed to be a great-grandson of President Thomas Jefferson and enslaved woman Sally Hemings. It first aired on Feb. 19, 2018 on WestSouthwest. 

Longer interview (aired on WestSouthwest, 2/19/18)

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 about his lineage. Today, what he has always known has been authenticated by DNA and other evidence, he says, and he has co-authored a book about it titled "Jefferson's Children: The Story of One American Family." LaNier spoke with WMUK's Earlene McMichael in advance of his keynote address in Kalamazoo.

Earlene McMichael was WMUK's local host of NPR's Morning Edition from August 2012 through October 2021. A former, long-time Kalamazoo Gazette editor, reporter, and columnist, she was a news anchor at WHCU-FM when it was owned by Cornell University, her alma mater.
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