Harvard University slavery: what schools have ‘historic’ slavery connections?


Harvard University announced Tuesday that it will create a $ 100 million fund to help offset its ties to slavery, explained in the 134-page report, “Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery.”

Some of Harvard’s links to slavery listed in the report include:

  • Between the founding of the University in 1636 and the end of slavery in 1783, Harvard faculty, staff, and leaders enslaved more than 70 people.

  • Some of the enslaved people worked and lived on campus, where they cared for Harvard presidents and professors and fed generations of Harvard students.

  • Through connections with multiple donors, the University had extensive financial ties and benefited from slavery during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

  • During the first half of the 19th century, more than a third of the money given or pledged to Harvard by individuals came from only five men who made a fortune from slavery and slave-produced goods.

“Slavery and its legacy have been part of American life for more than 400 years,” Harvard President Lawrence Bacow said Tuesday. “Working to further correct its persistent effects will require our sustained and ambitious efforts over the coming years.”

See also: Fixing the racial wealth gap with repairs: how it would work, who would qualify, and how much it might cost

In recent years, other colleges have also examined its history on issues of slavery and segregation. One such school is Georgetown University. The DC area university announced funding commitments to benefit the descendants of enslaved people in 2019.

The move was initially made by undergraduate students who chose to “impose” themselves $ 27.20 per semester, a symbolic number that refers to the 272 enslaved people sold by the school in 1838 to help financially. the University. The university later rejected the student plan and decided to commit $ 400,000 to community health projects related to the descendants of these 272 enslaved people, according to the New York Times.

In addition, Princeton Theological Seminary in NJ announced a $ 27 million endowment plan in 2019 after an audit revealed that some founders used slave labor.

“We didn’t want to avoid the awkward part of our story and the difficult conversations that would result from revealing the truth,” seminar president M. Craig Barnes announced in 2019.

In recent years, schools such as Yale University have removed the names of supporters of building slavery. New monuments have been erected elsewhere, including the Brown University Slavery Memorial sculpture (a partially buried ball and chain) and the University of Virginia Slavery Workers Memorial.

The number of colleges and universities that have at least some links to slavery is probably much higher than is currently known.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.



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