Many U.S. universities were built on slave money.
Harvard, Princeton, Brown, William and Mary, and Emory are a few names on the list, as discussed in an article in yesterday’s New York Times reviewing Craig Steven Wilder’s new book: Ebony and Ivory: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities:
When Craig Steven Wilder first began digging around in university archives in 2002 for material linking universities to slavery, he recalled recently, he was “a little bashful” about what he was looking for. “Ebony and Ivy,” by Mr. Wilder, cites this ad for the sale of slaves by a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania. “I would say, ‘I’m interested in 18th-century education,’ or something general like that,” Mr. Wilder said. But as he told the archivists more, they would bring out ledgers, letters and other documents.
“They’d push them across the table and say, ‘You might want to take a peek at this,’ ” he said. “It was often really great material that was cataloged in ways that was hard to find.” Now, more than a decade later, Mr. Wilder, a history professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has a new book, “Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities,” which argues provocatively that the nation’s early colleges, alongside church and state, were “the third pillar of a civilization based on bondage.”He also has a lot more company in the archives. Since 2003, when Ruth Simmons, then the president of Brown University, announced a headline-grabbing initiative to investigate that university’s ties to slavery, scholars at William and Mary, Harvard, Emory, the University of Maryland, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and elsewhere have completed their own studies. Continue reading “Academia built on slavery”