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Their enslaved ancestor’s pottery sells
for over $1 million. They get nothing.

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Posted By: NorthernDog, 4/2/2023 2:56:45 PM

“I wonder where is all my relation/Friendship to all — and every nation.” In a message that eclipsed time and space, Daisy Whitner could hear “Grandpa Dave” speaking to her. As she read the rhyming couplet inscribed in a large clay jar made before the Civil War, the 84-year-old Northeast D.C. resident could feel pain and loneliness in the anguished voice of her enslaved ancestor. He is remembered today as Dave the Potter, who risked severe punishment for signing his stoneware works that can sell today in excess of a million dollars. “It really saddened me,” said Whitner in a


The want a cut of great-great-great-great-grandpop's artwork sales. Even if some long-ago ancestor had inherited it, someone would have sold it off long ago.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: GoodDeal 4/2/2023 3:03:06 PM (No. 1439475)
But what about equity!? Demand reparations!!! Riot Loot and burn it down. No Justice no peace. Come on!!!
11 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: marbles 4/2/2023 3:10:52 PM (No. 1439481)
America . born 1776, slavery abolished 1865. America was not built by slaves. Most people did not own slaves.
28 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: Illinois Mom 4/2/2023 3:22:28 PM (No. 1439482)
I would love to have a clay pot my grandfather made. The family connection to the artist would mean everything. All they can do is moan about is not getting a cut of the dough? Is that what the families of the Great Master's are feeling? Maybe some, but the vast majority of great artists never saw more than a few pennies from their own work. When their paintings sold they got a pittance usually and by selling the work it was no longer theirs. The buyer owned the painting. Artist descendants were out of the picture.
19 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: chance_232 4/2/2023 3:46:27 PM (No. 1439486)
Oh boo freaking hoo..... Were you in the will?? Where these stolen family heirlooms? No? Then sit down and shut up. Until 5 minutes ago, no one in your family had ever heard of this man, let alone knew that y'all were related. I'm not entitled to any works produced by my ancestors either. Sooooooo get over your faux outrage/sadness blah blah blah.
15 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: janjan 4/2/2023 3:50:04 PM (No. 1439487)
First, Blacks claim often that they built the country. No. They didn’t. Slavery was mainly in the South on the land of wealthy plantation owners. Second, this so-called genealogist’s research has not been verified. Third, the brother admits that he knows nothing about slavery outside of what he read in history books. Sick of it.
13 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: downnout 4/2/2023 4:00:56 PM (No. 1439490)
Please note their emphasis on education in their community when they opine that someone should create a scholarship fund. . Why someone? Why don’t you do it?
10 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: Rather Read 4/2/2023 4:09:49 PM (No. 1439493)
A lot of the great artists never made much money when they were alive. See Vincent van Gogh for a good example. Now his paintings sell for millions and I am quite sure great grandnieces get nothing whenever one of their great uncle's works goes to auction.
18 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: MrDeplorable 4/2/2023 4:15:51 PM (No. 1439497)
If you look up American art law, you will find that when an artist creates a painting, the artist owns both the copyright in the artwork, and the physical artwork. Ownership of the copyright is an intellectual property right. Ownership of the physical artwork is a personal property right and transfers on sale. But a sale of the physical artwork does not transfer the copyrights in the artwork. Second, when a piece is sold, the artist is entitled to a 5% commission. These folks need a knowledgable art lawyer.
7 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: zephyrgirl 4/2/2023 4:17:53 PM (No. 1439498)
We have opened a Pandora's box for the descendants of slaves who now believe they're entitled to a big payoff to be paid by people who never owned slaves, and in many cases, whose ancestors weren't even in this country when there were slaves. A payoff to people who were never enslaved by people who never pwned slaves or benefitted from slavery.
15 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: DVC 4/2/2023 4:47:00 PM (No. 1439511)
And if my father sold a house that he built, which he did, and the person he sold it to sells it to someone else.....which may happen, and I get nothing that means......ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL. It was my father's house, not mine, and he SOLD IT. This is totally BS. Dave SOLD it, a century ago. Future generations of "gimme dats" have NOTHING at all to do with it. Moneygrubbers always looking for some handout.
16 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: WV.Hillbilly 4/2/2023 5:07:02 PM (No. 1439522)
That's how private property works.Once it's sold, the new owner can do what they want with it. The creator is not owed in perpetuity.
12 people like this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: MDConservative 4/2/2023 5:20:09 PM (No. 1439529)
Greed, just plain greed. No one is entitled to jack produced or owned by ancestors, and that includes anticipated inheritances.
14 people like this.

Reply 13 - Posted by: stevendm 4/2/2023 5:57:23 PM (No. 1439543)
#8. It's been 160 years since slavery was abolished, so presumably the pottery is older than that. I don't think copyrights last anywhere near that long.
10 people like this.

Reply 14 - Posted by: anniebc 4/2/2023 6:23:45 PM (No. 1439569)
I just learned about my half my dad's family line that goes back 12 generations. I learned some of my family were Quakers and one was in the Revolutionary War. Getting this information is more than enough. I would never think of trying to profit from this knowledge. I wish I knew my mother's sides and the Seminole side of my dad's mother. We live in such as Godless world; people just don't think right.
7 people like this.

Reply 15 - Posted by: BarryNo 4/2/2023 6:39:13 PM (No. 1439583)
If they don't own it they can't profit from its sale. Simple as that.
8 people like this.

Reply 16 - Posted by: Strike3 4/2/2023 6:50:30 PM (No. 1439594)
Poor aggrieved little me! I'll wager that she misses the million bucks a lot more than she misses Grandpa Dave. What is it with these people that if you didn't do something personally you are owed nothing?
5 people like this.

Reply 17 - Posted by: volksford 4/2/2023 8:49:22 PM (No. 1439647)
Always looking for the payout.
6 people like this.

Reply 18 - Posted by: chumley 4/2/2023 9:00:33 PM (No. 1439653)
I used to work with a ghetto bum they hired off the streets of NY. In addition to dropping F bombs twice per sentence in a polite hospital environment, he used to brag about all the scams they used to pull back in the hood. Apparently it was a badge of honor to swindle someone out of their money.
5 people like this.

Reply 19 - Posted by: NYbob 4/2/2023 10:21:34 PM (No. 1439700)
#8, yes and no. Creative, artistic copyright is only in effect for 100 years. In fact Mickey Mouse is about to go into public domain, in spite of Disney lawyers. They did get congress to extend it to 100 years, but that time is up. Any copyright that might have been associated with this pot, is worthless, then and now. In any case it is a pot and someone bought it or received it as a gift pre 100 years ago. So it was theirs and now someone paid a LOT of money for it and might sell it for a LOT more. ONLY matters to them, not the original potter or any member of their extended family. If the family crying about the 'injustice' of this were smart they would buy a potter's wheel, some clay and MAKE SOME POTS. Then when their distant ancestor's pot sells for a million plus, whatever they manage to make will be worth something. THAT is how they might profit from Grandpa Dave.
6 people like this.

Reply 20 - Posted by: konocti95 4/2/2023 11:56:20 PM (No. 1439725)
Now I'll be on the lookout for one of those at garage sales. If he made 40,000 there should still be quite a few floating around.
3 people like this.

Reply 21 - Posted by: konocti95 4/3/2023 12:01:22 AM (No. 1439728)
Hunter Biden's great great great great grandchildren in the year 2195, "Can we take those #@%# paintings in the garage to the dump yet?"
4 people like this.

Reply 22 - Posted by: Edgelady 4/3/2023 10:33:04 AM (No. 1439913)
It’s exciting to discover a long ago ancestor, especially one as talented as he was. I’m sure a lawyer will try to pick up on some cash from this family.
1 person likes this.

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