[Blackstudies-l] Another Ivy League School Is Addressing Its Dark History With Slavery

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Sat Feb 4 13:25:53 EST 2017


lisaparavisini posted: " A report by Danielle DeCourcey for ATTN. Columbia
University released a new report detailing its history with slavery, the
latest prestigious school to publicly disclose how it profited from the
sale of human beings. "I think it's critical universitie"
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<http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/> Another Ivy League
School Is Addressing Its Dark History With Slavery
<http://repeatingislands.com/2017/02/04/another-ivy-league-school-is-addressing-its-dark-history-with-slavery/>
by
lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>

[image: Slave_selling_poster,_1812.jpg]

A report by Danielle DeCourcey for *ATTN*
<http://www.attn.com/stories/14482/ivy-league-university-talks-about-dark-history-slavery>
.

Columbia University released a new report detailing its history
with slavery, the latest prestigious school to publicly disclose how it
profited from the sale of human beings.

"I think it's critical universities do this," Craig Steven Wilder,
a Massachusetts Institute of Technology history professor specializing in
American institutions, told ATTN:. "We're institutions that are founded to
produce knowledge and pursue truth and we can't be cowardly when those
truths are uncomfortable for us."

The preliminary report
<https://columbiaandslavery.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/content/Spreadsheets/PreliminaryReport.pdf>
addresses
Columbia's ties to slavery before 1865, when the school was called King's
College, and how profits from the slave trade helped to fund the
university's early days.

Significant funding to launch the university came from donors who made
money from the Atlantic slave trade, at a time when America was still a
British colony.

"The initial list of 66 'subscribers,' who donated a total of over 5,000
pounds to help launch King’s, included Atlantic slave traders John Watts,
Nathaniel Marston, Adoniah Schuyler, and John Cruger, and many others
engaged in commerce with the Caribbean," wrote Columbia history
professor Eric Foner, the report's author.

Forner wrote that slavery was "intertwined" with the early days of the
university, noting that "of the 10 men who served as presidents of King’s
and Columbia between 1754 and the end of the Civil War, at least half owned
slaves at one point in their lives. So did the first four treasurers."

The report also reveals an aspect of American slavery that is often
ignored: slaves were traded in northeast, not just the south.

"King’s and Columbia have always been powerfully affected by the city
around them, and slavery had been a presence since the earliest settlement
of New Amsterdam," Forner wrote. By 1804 the north had voted to
abolish slavery, but several Columbia University trustees, professors,
and school administrators held slaves well into the 1820s while the
practice was gradually eliminated in the state, sometimes making their
release a form of indentured servitude.

Wilder, who wrote the book "Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled
History of America's Universities," told ATTN: that though slavery evokes
images of the south, the slave trade was critically intertwined with
business in the northern part of the United States.

"When you think of plantation slavery, you think of the south, but when we
think of the slave trade, we really should be thinking about northern port
cities and the institutions that benefited from that," he said.
Other historic and prestigious schools have also publicly disclosed their
history with slavery.

Harvard University, Yale University, Brown University, and George
Washington University all released public reports
<http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/09/17/223420533/how-slavery-shaped-americas-oldest-and-most-elite-colleges>
about their ties to the slave trade. In September 2016, ATTN: reported
<http://www.attn.com/stories/11100/georgetown-gives-slave-descendants-preferred-admission>
on Georgetown University's big step to address its history of selling
hundreds of slaves
<https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/17/us/georgetown-university-search-for-slave-descendants.html>to
keep the university afloat.

Georgetown's president publicly apologized and announced plans to address
the legacy of slavery
<https://president.georgetown.edu/slavery-memory-reconciliation-september-2016>
by giving descendants of slaves preferred admission at the University,
which is "the same consideration we give members of the Georgetown
community in the admissions process."

Wilder said that college students deserve a lot of the credit for putting
the history of slavery at universities into the public eye. Students from
several universities, including Georgetown
<http://college.usatoday.com/2016/09/02/student-protesters-see-victory-in-georgetown-addressing-historical-ties-to-slavery/>
and Harvard,
<http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2016/03/06/469377342/history-of-slavery-future-of-diversity-still-at-issue-at-harvard>have
protested their schools' history with slavery and the slave trade.

"A lot of credit should go to the students who really have done a lot of
the research at these universities, and kept this issue alive through
protests," Wilder said. "This is an issue that has been kept hidden."
*lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>* |
February 4, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Categories: News
<http://repeatingislands.com/category/news/> | URL: http://wp.me/psnTa-tng

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