You Can Not Call Enslaved Woman A “Mistress”

You Can Not Call Enslaved Woman A “Mistress”

The opinions regarding the usefulness of Black History Month are very different among the black community.

Even though some people see it as a necessary and critical tool for cultural celebration and propagating the importance of the achievements through history, others feel that it’s a reductive display of the forced service conducted during the shortest month of the year.

What we can all agree, however, is that the most important thing is to present our history in an accurate and factual manner, with the correct context. That’s why we react very strongly to misrepresentative and inaccurate claims.

The Washington Post published an article about restoration at Monticello, the residence of President Thomas Jefferson, which is now operated as a museum. The restoration involved unmasking a bathroom installed in 1941 just steps from Jefferson’s bedroom, and it was revealed that the room really belonged to Sally Hemings.

Thomas Jefferson owned many people at Monticello, but she received the most attention because it is believed that she was the mother of six of his children.

That was the reason why The Washington Post decided to use the word mistress in the title of its article (it has been changed since then).

Many people were enraged because of this, because it was insulting the relationship between her and Thomas Jefferson – her owner.
The term mistress denotes a relationship predicated on mutual choice, autonomy, and consent, and this was something Hemings did not have.

She was not afforded the privilege of self-determination, which meant that she didn’t do what she wanted, but what she was told.
The word to describe the type of interaction is certainly not affair, but something much worse.

This is what Twitter had to say about the huge issue.

 
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