Bettye Kearse Book Talk: The Other Madisons

404 E. Main St. Charlottesville, VA 22902, null, null null


  • Presented By: New Dominion Bookshop
  • Dates: November 12, 2021
  • Location: New Dominion Bookshop
  • Time: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM


Join us for a book talk with Bettye Kearse, author of The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President’s Black Family. This in-person event will be free and open to the public. We recommend arriving early for the best seating.

About the Book: During the thirty years it took her to write the book, Bettye Kearse traveled around the US and to Ghana, West Africa, and Lagos, Portugal. The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President’s Black Family is both a personal family history and an homage to millions of silenced, invisible African Americans. It discovers, discloses, and embraces a more inclusive and complete American story. In recounting the struggles, perseverance, and contributions of eight generations of Kearse’s family, this memoir illustrates that enslaved Africans possessed inner strength, hope, and talents by which they survived enslavement, while contributing mightily to America. This book will inspire their descendants not only to use their own inner strength to fight for their full rights as full Americans, but also to realize their hopes, and, like their enslaved ancestors, to make contributions to our nation.

About the Author: Bettye Kearse, a retired pediatrician currently living in New Mexico, is an African American descendant of President James Madison. She holds a BA in genetics from the University of California at Berkeley, a PhD in biology from New York University, and an MD from Case Western Reserve University. Her passion is writing, and her work has been published in Boston Herald, TIME Magazine, The New York Times, and the anthology Black Lives Have Always Mattered. In 1990, she became her family’s oral historian when her mother brought her the box of family memorabilia and said, “I want to give you plenty of time to write the book.” The time had come for the story of their African American family to take its place in recorded history.