A young woman descended from Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings driven from her neighborhood by a white militia. A university professor studying racism by conducting a secret social experiment on his own son. A single mother desperate to buy her first home even as the world hurtles toward catastrophe. Each fighting to survive in America.
A badass debut by any measure… Nimble, knowing, and electrifying ~ Colson Whitehead
My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
At a time of rolling blackouts and terrible storms battering America, the neighbourhood of First Street, Charlottesville comes under attack by violent white supremacists. A group of friends, families and strangers flee together in an abandoned bus and head for the hills above town.
Led by Da’Naisha Love, they arrive at Monticello, the historic plantation-home of Thomas Jefferson, deserted but for its ghosts. As a young Black descendant of Jefferson and Sally Hemings, Da’Naisha has a complex relationship with the house. Tentative at first, the group explores rooms, forages on the grounds, and finds a kind of shelter. But the terror from their town is coming closer, and soon they have an impossible decision to make.
My Monticello is the story of nineteen heart-stopping days of refuge and reclamation, told by Da’Naisha with courage and with grace. This deeply moving novel is a searing indictment of racism past and present, and a powerful vision of resistance, community and hope.