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OLLI Special Presentation and Screening:    NEW!

Dr. Bettye Kearse and Eduardo Montes-Bradley will join OLLI at UVA in November to present. The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President's Black Family, the book (Kearse) and documentary film (Montes-Bradley). Kearse and Montes-Bradley met at Montpelier. Kearse will introduce and discuss her book, and Montes-Bradley his film, and both will participate in a Q and A  with attendees following the screening. 

This program is a member benefit, provided free to all OLLI members. In addition, and while space is available, OLLI members can invite/register a plus-1 to attend and learn more about The Other Madisons, and other programs that come with OLLI membership. 

About the book:

Winner of the 2020 International Afro American Historical and Genealogical Society Book Award for Non-Fiction Autobiography and Outstanding Book Award from The National Association of Black Journalists, The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President's Black Family  took some thirty years of research, writing, and rewriting. It is both a personal family history and an homage to millions of silenced, invisible African Americans. This memoir is an intimate work of narrative nonfiction that discovers, discloses, and embraces a more inclusive and complete American story. 

For thousands of years, West African griots (men) and griottes (women) have served as human links between past and present by speaking the ever-expanding stories of their ancestors and history of their people. Without generations of American griots and griottes  who stayed true to this West African tradition, Kearse’s family would not know about their ancestor who was stolen from Africa or that they are descended from President James Madison and one of his slaves. They would not know how their family saying, “Always remember—you’re a Madison. You come from African slaves and a president,” began during slavery, nor how it evolved with the changing times. 

In recounting the struggles, perseverance, and contributions of eight generations of her family, Kearse’s The Other Madisons illustrates that enslaved Africans possessed hope and inner strength by which they survived, and talents by which they contributed mightily to America. They passed these same qualities on to their descendants.It is Kearse’s dream that The Other Madisons will inspire those descendants to nurture and use their own inner strengths and talents not only to fulfill their hopes but to make contributions to our country and the world.



OLLI Special Presentation and Screening:


  • Date and Time: 11/11/2021 at 1:30 PM
  • Location:  OLLI at UVA at Studio IX in the Gallery, 969 2nd Street SE Charlottesville, VA 22902
  • Member Benefit
  •  Show Description
  • AS OF 8/16/2021: IN-PERSON COURSES, MASK POLICY: Masks are recommended for all and required for unvaccinated. 
  • Click HERE to complete the REQUIRED COVID-19 WAIVER. If you have already completed the waiver and your health status has not changed you do not need to submit the form again.  If your health status changes before this event but after you have submiited the waiver please resubmit the waiver or update the OLLI office. 

  • We are required to follow each venues requirements. 
  • About the Author:

    In 1990, Dr. Bettye Kearse became the griotte for her family when her mother brought her the box of family memorabilia. When she asked, "Why now" her mother answered: “I wanted to give you plenty of time to write the book.” The time had come for the story of Kearse’s African-American family to take its place in recorded history. Her research for the book took her to Ghana, West Africa, and Lagos, Portugal, and around the United States, including James Madison’s Montpelier.  

  • Kearse was born in Tucson, Arizona and grew up in Northern California. She earned 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. She practiced pediatrics in inner-city Boston, and now retired, she resides with her husband in New Mexico. 

  • About the filmmaker: 

    Charlottesville resident Eduardo Montes-Bradley'is an Argentinian-born producer, director, documentarian, and OLLI instructor, whose films have received awards at domestic and international film festivals. His recent films include:A Soldier's Dream(2019), a biographical portrayal of private Milt Feldman, a US Veteran with the 106th Infantry Division who was captured at the Battle of the Bulge in The Ardennes;and Alice: At Home with Alice Parker (2020), which explores the life and works of composer-conductor Alice Parker. His films on Charlottesville subjects include Julian Bond: Reflections from the Frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement, Rita Dove: An American Poet,Monroe Hill, and Unearthed and  Understood. 
    Montes-Bradley’s films are available in academic as well as public libraries, and have aired on American (PBS, National Geographic, Discovery) and European television.