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08/10/2023 with Bettye Kearse

Since she was five years old, Bettye’s mother has reminded her of the family credo, “Always remember you’re a Madison. You come from African slaves and a president.” Her book, The Other Madisons: The Lost History of A President’s Black Family” is Bettye’s gift to her own descendants and to all of us to remember that the Founding Fathers may have laid the foundations for our country, but the actual physical foundations were built and maintained by millions of enslaved people. Bettye is the “griotte” in her family, the one bearing witness to the lives of generations long past by retaining and protecting the oral history which she will in turn pass onto her own daughter. The Other Madisons takes this history and her decades of exhaustive research and puts it in writing for the first time. Yet to listen to this interview with Bettye gives you a taste of the ancient storytelling tradition without which we would never learn the truth. The Other Madisons bettyekearse.com