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University of Richmond

American Studies

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Full-Text Articles in United States History

Imagining Jefferson And Hemings In Paris, Suzanne W. Jones Jan 2011

Imagining Jefferson And Hemings In Paris, Suzanne W. Jones

English Faculty Publications

In Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics, cultural critic Bell Hooks argues that "no one seems to know how to tell the story" of white men romantically involved with slave women because long ago another story supplanted it: "that story, invented by white men, is about the overwhelming desperate longing black men have to sexually violate the bodies of white women." Narratives of white exploitation and black solidarity have made it difficult to imagine consensual sex and impossible to imagine love of any kind across the color line in the plantation South. Hooks predicted that the suppressed story, if told ...