Harvard University announced on Tuesday that it will create a $100 million fund to help make up for its ties to slavery, spelled out in the 134-page report, “Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery.”
Some of Harvard’s ties to slavery listed in the report include:
“Slavery and its legacy have been a part of American life for more than 400 years,” Harvard President Lawrence Bacow said on Tuesday, “The work of further redressing its persistent effects will require our sustained and ambitious efforts for years to come.”
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In recent years, other colleges have also examined their history as it relates to issues of slavery and segregation. One of those schools is Georgetown University. The DC area college announced funding commitments to benefit descendants of enslaved people in 2019.
The move was initially brought on by undergraduate students who elected to “tax” themselves $27.20 a semester, a symbolic number referencing the 272 enslaved people sold by the school in 1838 to financially assist the university. Later, the college nixed the students’ plan and decided to pledge $400,000 to community health projects related to descendants of those 272 enslaved people, according to the New York Times,
Additionally, the Princeton Theological Seminary, in NJ, announced a $27 million endowment plan in 2019 after an audit revealed that some founders used slave labor.
“We did not want to shy away from the uncomfortable part of our history and the difficult conversations that revealing the truth would produce,” seminary president M. Craig Barnes announced in 2019,
In recent years, schools such as Yale University have removed the names of slavery supporters from buildings. New monuments have gone up elsewhere, including Brown University’s Slavery Memorial sculpture — a partially buried ball and chain — and the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia.
The number of colleges and universities that have at least some ties to slavery is likely far higher than what is currently known.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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