Poetry, Parents, Slavery
An interview by Tony Robles of poet, Oliver De La Paz, and an archival interview by Martha Cinader of Barbara Chase-Riboud. Recordings by William Burroughs, Alexie Sherman, Steve Cannon, Po’azz Yo’azz, Ken Kesey, and Edwin Torres.
Oliver de la Paz is the author and editor of seven books. His latest collection of poetry, The Diaspora Sonnets, was published by Liveright Press (2023). In 2023 he was appointed as the Poet Laureate of Worcester, MA. He is a founding member of Kundiman and he teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in the Low-Residency MFA Program at PLU.
Chase-Riboud’s novel about Sally Hemings generated discussion about the likely relationship between the young enslaved woman and her master, Thomas Jefferson, who became president of the United States.
Mainline historians rejected Chase-Riboud’s portrayal and persuaded CBS not to produce a planned TV mini-series adapted from the novel. Following DNA analysis of descendants in 1998, the Jefferson-Hemings relationship is widely accepted by historians as fact, including those who had objected before.