African American News and Genealogy

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Friday, January 28, 2005

Strom Thurmond's biracial daughter sheds life of secrecy

By Wendy Koch, USA TODAY The daughter grew up in a house without indoor plumbing, rode the back of the bus and attended a college for blacks only. The father was raised in a stately home with black servants — one of them her mother — and later became South Carolina's governor and ran for president, espousing racial segregation. One family, two Americas. The story of Essie Mae Washington-Williams, the biracial daughter of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, reveals how two people, bound by blood and duty, lived separate, unequal lives. They developed a limited relationship that, despite the anguish it caused her, she kept secret his entire life. "I did love my father. He was very good to us," Washington-Williams, 79, says in an interview to promote today's release of her autobiography, Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond Full Story:


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