African American

Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty

A groundbreaking exhibit that tells the story of slavery at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.

Ashley Turner
Posted on Oct 4, 2018

Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty is a landmark traveling exhibit making its first stop in Dallas as part of the updated exhibit's U.S. tour. Now open at the African American Museum, this special exhibit tells the many untold stories of slavery that took place at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello home and plantation.

Located on the second floor of the African American Museum and housed within three distinct galleries, the exhibit explores the dilemmas of slavery and the lives of the enslaved families and their descendants living at Monticello. Paradox of Liberty speaks to the irony of Jefferson's belief that "all men are created equal," while owning hundreds of people during his lifetime.

The exhibit examines Jefferson's views, actions and inaction on slavery, while also focusing on the six enslaved individuals and families that lived and worked on his plantation. More than 300 objects, works of art, documents and artifacts are showcased throughout the galleries. The updated exhibition includes a special feature on Sally Hemings, the women who bore six of Jefferson's children, offering an in-depth look at her life, as well as the Getting Word film, that highlights descendant stories and their perspectives on the role of Monticello in their family histories.

Visit the museum during your trip to the State Fair of Texas! The museum is conveniently located on the state fair grounds, so be sure to include the exhibit as part of your itinerary. Tickets to the exhibit are $10 for adults, $5 for children 3-12 years old, and free for children two and under. Admission is free for seniors 65 and over on Thursdays. The exhibit is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. The exhibit closes Dec. 31, 2018.