My Monticello
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My Monticello

Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

During a night of power outages, arson and gunfire, the diverse neighbourhood of 1st Street, Charlottesville comes under attack by a white supremacist mob. Fleeing for their lives in an abandoned bus, a group of family, friends and strangers find themselves in the hills above town, where they occupy and take refuge in Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s old plantation house.

Led by Da'Naisha, a young black descendant of Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings, the group find ways to care for and sustain one another while Charlottesville burns below them. Their story unfolds over nineteen heart-stopping days, as Da'Naisha’s beloved grandmother sickens, her own secret pregnancy preoccupies her, and the occupants of the house come together to try to prepare for their eventual fate. They only want the house, Naisha says, They cannot see us, how beautiful we are…

Told in the captivating voice of a young woman who sees with clarity, courage and extraordinary dignity, My Monticello interrogates the systemic violence of America past and present, while also offering a powerful vision of collectivism, resistance and hope.

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