Did The Racist, Late Sen. Strom Thurmond Father A Black Child? - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 108 (permalink) Old Jul 14th, 2003, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Question Did The Racist, Late Sen. Strom Thurmond Father A Black Child?

This is coming from this week's National Enquirer, so consider the source, but they are reporting that former SC Senator Strom Thrumond, who died last month at the age of 100, may have fathered a child with his mother's former maid in the mid 1920's. The woman is now 78 years old and living in LA and when questioned by the Enquirer, refused comment, but didn't deny the story. Those who were close to Thurmond didn't deny the story either and said that he quitely supported this woman, even sending her to college (where he allegedly visited her).

I don't know if this story is true and as much as I didn't have any use for this man, I wish this story had come out while he was alive and coherent so he could deny it or confirm it. I guess we will probably never know.
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post #2 of 108 (permalink) Old Jul 14th, 2003, 11:09 PM
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He always said he didn't discriminate!
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post #3 of 108 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 2003, 12:45 AM
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Oh yeah this has been written about extensively. She's his daughter. She would visit him and he would visit her over the years. He paid for her college education.

I don't personally agree with letting him get away with having one face in public and another one in the bedroom but she, the daughter is from the old school and I understand that. Besides she's too old to be dealing with a bunch of mess.
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post #4 of 108 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2003, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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looks like the story is true. Strom's daughter will hold a press conference tomorrow to confirm what the Enquirer and the Washington Post reported.


Woman Says She's Strom Thurmond's Illegitimate Child
78-Year-Old Retiree Says She's Mixed-Race Daughter of Former Senator
By JEREMIAH MARQUEZ, AP

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 13) - A 78-year-old retired schoolteacher is coming forward after years of silence to claim she is the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, her attorney said Saturday.

Essie Mae Washington-Williams, who lives in Los Angeles, had long been rumored to be the daughter of the one-time segregationist, who died June 26 at the age of 100. She is coming forward now at the urging and encouragement of her children, attorney Frank K. Wheaton said.

''She's decided to come forward to bring some closure to what has been thought to be an old family secret,'' Wheaton told The Associated Press.

''We're not trying to upset the Thurmond estate. We are merely bringing closure to Essie Mae's life, so her children have an opportunity to know from where they come, whether those ancestors are black or white matters not. It is part of our American history.''

Williams told The Washington Post that Thurmond privately acknowledged her as his daughter and had provided financial support since 1941. The Post first reported her claims on its Web site Saturday.

Williams, who has scheduled a news conference in Columbia, S.C., on Wednesday, previously denied rumors that Thurmond, the nation's oldest and longest-serving senator, was her father.

''There was an agreement between the parties that she would never discuss the fact that Sen. Thurmond was her father,'' another of Williams' attorneys, Glenn Walters, told The AP. ''He never denied that Ms. Washington-Williams was his daughter.''

Walters said Williams was not seeking money and did not want to challenge Thurmond's will: ''She simply wants the truth about her life to be told.''

Those close to Thurmond said they were unsure about Williams' claim.

''I really don't know anything about that story, so you'll need to talk to someone else,'' said Thurmond's widow, Nancy Moore Thurmond. The couple separated in 1991.

''I certainly have no answer one way or the other,'' said Bettis Rainsford, a longtime family friend. ''I'm sure the senator may have sowed some wild oats in his early days, but certainly I have no information about that.''

Doris Strom Costner, a distant cousin of Thurmond's, said she doesn't think the claim is true.

''I don't appreciate anyone coming forth after he's dead, you know? It doesn't make good sense,'' Costner said.

Williams told the Post she waited until now to go public with her story because she didn't want to embarrass herself or hurt Thurmond's career.

''I want to bring closure to this,'' she said. ''It is a part of history.''

In seven decades of politics, Thurmond gained fame and infamy as an arch-segregationist, but he later came to support a holiday for the slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

Williams claims Thurmond fathered her long before his political career started, when he was a 22-year-old living in his parents' home in Edgefield, S.C. Her mother, then 16, had been working as a maid in the Thurmonds' home.

If challenged by the Thurmond family, Williams is ready to submit to DNA tests, Wheaton said.

Williams said she has documents to validate her claim, including cashier's check stubs, mementos from Thurmond and a letter from an intermediary who delivered money from the senator. She provided the Post with a copy of a 1998 Thurmond letter thanking her ''for the nice Father's Day note you sent me.''

She told the newspaper she received money at least once a year in sessions arranged by Thurmond's Senate staff. In recent years, as the senator's health declined, she said, financial assistance was passed through a Thurmond relative in South Carolina.

Wheaton said the amount of money Thurmond provided over the years was ''a very substantial amount'' but less than $1 million.

Williams' mother, Carrie Butler, was unmarried when she gave birth to her in 1925. Butler's neighbors in the impoverished section of Edgefield helped feed and clothe the child, according to Post interviews with local residents.

Butler's sister, Essie, took the child when she was 6 months old to live with a married aunt, Mary Washington, in Coatesville, Pa., a Philadelphia suburb.

Williams told the Post she first met Thurmond around 1941, when she returned to Edgefield for a visit at age 16. Her mother was suffering from an untreatable kidney disease and insisted on introducing her to her father, Williams said.

In a meeting lasting 20 to 30 minutes, Williams said, Thurmond called her a ''very lovely daughter.''

''I was very happy. I knew I had a father somewhere, and it was wonderful to meet him.''

Williams claims she had another conversation with Thurmond in 1947, when he was governor of South Carolina and a year away from running for president on a Dixiecrat platform of segregation.

''He asked her directly, 'How does it feel to be the daughter of the governor and not be able to tell anyone about it?''' Wheaton said. ''She said it felt fine.''

(Associated Press writer Jacob Jordan in Columbia, S.C., contributed to this report.)


12-13-03 20:18 EST

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press
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post #5 of 108 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2003, 01:50 AM
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I think if his other children don't offer she should sue for part of his estate. I mean she's the one that had to carry the shame of being his little secret.
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post #6 of 108 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2003, 01:55 AM
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Living my whole life in SC, I can say this was not a big secret. Everyone "knew" but no one "knew".


But Lizchris, I kinda take offense to your harsh remarks about Senator Thurmond. True - he was a staunch advocate against civil rights in the 50's and 60's, but he adapted with the times rather quickly and was significant as he was the first southern senator to hire black people on his staff.

Not only that, but he did a lot of good for SC, bringing money and jobs to our state, and because of this, he was elected more times (with the aid of MANY MANY black people) as a senator than any other person ever.


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post #7 of 108 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2003, 02:02 AM
 
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What a mess, but it's true. But from the article above you could tell that Thurmond did not want to be associated with his black daughter because of his racist ideology. How sad. I guess being their monetarily was a substitution for being emotionally present in his daughters life.

It amazes me how Thurmonds friends and family continue to deny his illegitimate daughter. This case reminds me of the Lincoln debate. I did not understand their objection to sharing the burials with the black descendants of Lincoln.

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post #8 of 108 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2003, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by harloo
What a mess, but it's true. But from the article above you could tell that Thurmond did not want to be associated with his black daughter because of his racist ideology. How sad. I guess being their monetarily was a substitution for being emotionally present in his daughters life.

It amazes me how Thurmonds friends and family continue to deny his illegitimate daughter. This case reminds me of the Lincoln debate. I did not understand their objection to sharing the burials with the black descendants of Lincoln.
harloo, I urge you to please not be so hasty in labelling the family as racist.

Things were very different back then, than they are today, and what Thurmond did for the girl (although not honorable) were incredible for what was going on at the time.

If you go to the Washington Post website and read the full artilce with the interview from Ms. Williams you will know the full story of her and Senator Thurmond.


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post #9 of 108 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2003, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Living my whole life in SC, I can say this was not a big secret. Everyone "knew" but no one "knew".


But Lizchris, I kinda take offense to your harsh remarks about Senator Thurmond. True - he was a staunch advocate against civil rights in the 50's and 60's, but he adapted with the times rather quickly and was significant as he was the first southern senator to hire black people on his staff.

Not only that, but he did a lot of good for SC, bringing money and jobs to our state, and because of this, he was elected more times (with the aid of MANY MANY black people) as a senator than any other person ever.

Sorry that you take offense to my harsh remarks, but he didn't change because he thought it was the moral thing to do, but the politacally correct thing to do, which makes him a coward in my book.
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post #10 of 108 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2003, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rocketta
I think if his other children don't offer she should sue for part of his estate. I mean she's the one that had to carry the shame of being his little secret.
But she said that she doesn't want his money. I think she should get the DNA test if they deny that she is her daughter since she has the doucments to prove it.
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post #11 of 108 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2003, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by lizchris
But she said that she doesn't want his money. I think she should get the DNA test if they deny that she is her daughter since she has the doucments to prove it.
I know that's what she says and probably means. However, I think she deserves some of his estate. She doesn't have to spend it she can give it to charity or her grandkids or her great grandkids.
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post #12 of 108 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2003, 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
harloo, I urge you to please not be so hasty in labelling the family as racist.

Things were very different back then, than they are today, and what Thurmond did for the girl (although not honorable) were incredible for what was going on at the time.

If you go to the Washington Post website and read the full artilce with the interview from Ms. Williams you will know the full story of her and Senator Thurmond.
I'm sorry Joshua, there was nothing honarable about what he did. Yes he could've been worse but that doesn't mean he was good either. I've read several accounts and yes I know he visited with her and paid for her education and so on and so forth but when has any father ever got kudos for visiting his child once in a while in secret and paying for his children's education on the sly?

I'm sorry he was man enough to bed a black woman but not man enough to be open about her and I don't care what time it was. He kept it a secret cause the rednecks of SC wouldn't have voted for him. So he thought they were more important than his child or he thought his career was more important for his child whether he was a racist or not. I know he was a person with low morals. I'd feel that way about all men who keep children secret no matter what the reason.

Ohh and he kept that secret into a new millinium so the times being what they were was no longer an excuse now was it? What reason did his family have for going along with the lie?

Just because his daughter grew up in a time where that type of behavior was acceptable and all she knew doesn't make it right. I'm glad she was at peace with her father. That's good for her soul and well being. However, he was still a shit.
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post #13 of 108 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2003, 03:21 AM
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I’m not surprised, and wouldn’t be if she was the product of a rape of a 16 year old black girl by a 22 year old white man.
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post #14 of 108 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2003, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Freewoman33
I’m not surprised, and wouldn’t be if she was the product of a rape of a 16 year old black girl by a 22 year old white man.
Yes that's right her mother was a teenager when she worked in his home?

There is a book about it but I don't know if we have it. If we do I'll look it up.

that is if I remember.
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post #15 of 108 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 2003, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Freewoman33
I’m not surprised, and wouldn’t be if she was the product of a rape of a 16 year old black girl by a 22 year old white man.
I never even thought of that, but you know he would have never been arrested for rape.
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