Harvard says it will issue reparations after report details its ties to slavery

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  vic-eldred  •  4 weeks ago  •  47 comments

By:   NPR. org

Harvard says it will issue reparations after report details its ties to slavery
A committee formed by Harvard President Lawrence Bacow found that Harvard faculty and staff enslaved 70 people from the school's founding in 1636 to the banning of slavery in Massachusetts in 1783.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Harvard University has released a report detailing the school's involvement in the U.S. slave trade, including faculty and staff owning slaves and professors teaching racial eugenics.

In 2019, Harvard President Lawrence Bacow formed a committee that included representatives from all the schools on campus, and asked them to uncover Harvard's ties to slavery.

The committee's work should "have a strong grounding in rigorous research and critical perspectives that will inform not only our understanding of facts, but also how we might address the ramifications of what we learn," he said at the time.

The committee found that Harvard faculty and staff enslaved 70 people from the school's founding in 1636 to the banning of slavery in Massachusetts in 1783.

Some of those who were enslaved lived on campus and were responsible for providing care for Harvard's presidents, professors and students.

Additionally, the report discovered many of the university's donors profited directly from the slave trade in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Some used labor from enslaved people in the Caribbean and the American South. Others obtained their wealth from selling goods to plantations. Donors in the textile industry sourced cotton that was grown by enslaved persons.

"During the first half of the 19th century, more than a third of the money donated or promised to Harvard by private individuals came from just five men who made their fortunes from slavery and slave-produced commodities," the report said.

The university also heavily supported the study of eugenics, the concept of encouraging selective breeding for the purpose of purifying the human race.

Dudley Allen Sargent, director of Harvard's Hemenway Gymnasium from 1879 to 1919, "implemented a 'physical education' program that involved intrusive physical examinations, anthropometric measurements, and the photographing of unclothed Harvard and Radcliffe students," according to the study.

Harvard outlined several next steps it said it would take in an attempt to atone for its involvement in the slave trade, including monetary reparations for Black and Indigenous students who are descendants of enslaved persons in the U.S.

"The profound harm caused by the university's entanglements with slavery and its legacies cannot be valued in monetary terms alone," the study said. "Nevertheless, financial expenditures are a necessary predicate to and foundation for redress."

The Legacy of Slavery Fund will be kept in an endowment "strategically invested to support implementation of these recommendations," the report said.

The Ivy League school also plans to further partner with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) through initiatives, such as appointing visiting HBCU professors to Harvard for one year and subsidizing summer, semester or yearlong studies at Harvard for HBCU students.

The school said it is working to identify Black and Indigenous students who are direct descendants of people enslaved in the U.S.

"We further recommend that, in recognition of this lineage, the university engage with these descendants through dialogue, programming, information sharing, relationship building, and educational support," it said.

The recommendations will be evaluated through annual reports, Harvard said.


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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    4 weeks ago

"The school said it is working to identify Black and Indigenous students who are direct descendants of people enslaved in the U.S."

And what about administrators and professors descended from slave owners?  Where is the penalty?  I think all their possessions should be confiscated and added to the unholy treasury for the victims!

 
 
 
gooseisback
Freshman Silent
1.1  gooseisback  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    4 weeks ago

I think Harvard should "only" admit Black and Indigenous students completely free.  

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  gooseisback @1.1    4 weeks ago

Would that be the right thing to do?

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Freshman Quiet
1.1.2  afrayedknot  replied to  gooseisback @1.1    4 weeks ago

“I think Harvard should "only" admit Black and Indigenous students completely free. “

Can you argue that that decision would not be to our collective benefit? 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1.3  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  afrayedknot @1.1.2    4 weeks ago

I believe it would be un-Constitutional.  You must treat all groups equally.

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Freshman Quiet
1.1.4  afrayedknot  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1.3    4 weeks ago

Indeed.

Legacies thusly denied?

 
 
 
gooseisback
Freshman Silent
1.1.5  gooseisback  replied to  afrayedknot @1.1.2    4 weeks ago
Can you argue that that decision would not be to our collective benefit? 

No, but no one at Harvard participated in the injustice they committed.  If they feel that strongly about it they should throw out their current admission standards and become a school for just Blacks and Indigenous.  They won't, but they will run around and act like they're doing something.    

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1.6  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  gooseisback @1.1.5    4 weeks ago
No, but no one at Harvard participated in the injustice they committed. 

That fact means nothing to the extreme social justice warrior. For them, somebody has to pay!

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Freshman Quiet
2  afrayedknot    4 weeks ago

“You must treat all groups equally.”

The ultimate expectation.

If only every one of us, every legislative body, and every one seeking office could make that most basic of promises. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3  JohnRussell    4 weeks ago

Some people will never admit that institutions like Harvard may be righteously recognizing historical wrongs , but instead the white grievance crowd will try and make themselves the victims. Its pretty pathetic. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @3    4 weeks ago

I'm calling for direct redistribution. No touching the endowments. Strictly descendent of slave owner to the descendent of slave. All possessions transferred. 

Anything else is just fake compassion.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
3.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JohnRussell @3    4 weeks ago

Exactly,  one can only imagine how much better the descendants of this historical wrong would be, if absent the Atlantic Slave Trade, they had grown up as citizens of the Western Central African countries. 

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
3.2.1  JBB  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @3.2    4 weeks ago

Or, just imagine how much better off the descendants of slaves freed in 1865 would be if they could get mortgages to purchase suburban homes in the 1940s and 50s!

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
3.2.2  Greg Jones  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @3.2    4 weeks ago

Yep! There were way more black Africans engaged in the slave trade than white Americans. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.2.3  JohnRussell  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @3.2    4 weeks ago

The idea that Africans were better off being slaves in America than free in Africa sounds pretty dang racist to me. 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
3.2.4  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JohnRussell @3.2.3    4 weeks ago

Who told you that?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.2.5  JohnRussell  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @3.2.4    4 weeks ago

Told me what?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
3.2.6  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @3.2.1    4 weeks ago

Exactly, or had they or their ancestors never been shipped here to begin with.  

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
3.2.7  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JohnRussell @3.2.5    4 weeks ago
that Africans were better off being slaves in America than free in Africa

That’s preposterous.

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Freshman Quiet
3.2.8  afrayedknot  replied to  Greg Jones @3.2.2    4 weeks ago

“There were way more black Africans engaged in the slave trade than white Americans…”

Which in no way, in no time frame, and in no context absolves those ‘white Americans’ from their involvement in the trading of human flesh for profit. 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
3.2.9  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  afrayedknot @3.2.8    4 weeks ago

Exactly, and let’s not quibble about whether they were Brits or Americans, the cold hard facts are:

- Between 1525 and 1866, about 12.5 million Africans were shipped as slaves to the New World

- Of those, about 10.7 million survived the journey

- Of those, about 388,000 landed in North America 

- That’s right, our ancestors are responsible for about 3.6% of the Atlantic Slave Trade no matter how you want to cut it

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Freshman Quiet
3.2.10  afrayedknot  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @3.2.9    4 weeks ago

“…our ancestors are responsible..,”

…no matter how you cut it. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
3.2.11  Sean Treacy  replied to  JBB @3.2.1    4 weeks ago
st imagine how much better off the descendants of slaves freed in 1865 would be if they could get mortgages to purchase suburban homes in the 1940s and 50s!

Probably about the same as the white people whose ancestors fought for their freedom.

The "wealth gap" is mainly between the top 10%. The top 10% of whites are much richer than the top 10% of blacks.  Otherwise, there's very little difference. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
3.2.12  Sean Treacy  replied to  afrayedknot @3.2.10    4 weeks ago
no matter how you cut it. 

Yep, the people who imported slaves, owned slaves etc are responsible for what they did. 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
3.2.13  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  afrayedknot @3.2.10    4 weeks ago

Exactly, for 3.6%.  There is no doubt that the descendants of these slaves would be so much better off if their ancestors hadn’t been forced out of Western, Central Africa.  We should pay repetitions to raise them to a comparable level with their families that weren’t enslaved.

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Freshman Quiet
3.2.14  afrayedknot  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @3.2.13    4 weeks ago

“…pay repetitions…”

Not intended, but nonetheless telling in its obfuscation…excuse it rather than acknowledge it, talk about it rather than talk to it, pass it along rather than deal with the undeniable facts.

Next?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
3.2.15  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  afrayedknot @3.2.14    4 weeks ago
Not intended,

Why not? An African American should live as well as someone from Sierra Leone, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, etc.  


 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
3.2.16  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  afrayedknot @3.2.10    4 weeks ago

Our ancestors may be, but nobody alive today is or should be held responsible like some people insist they should be. The idea to make reparations to people today for actions taken up to three centuries ago is just totally ludicrous to me.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.2.17  Kavika   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @3.2.9    4 weeks ago

Let's try cutting it this way.

In 1860, a United States census counted nearly four million enslaved people living in the country.  .

This does not include the millions of Native Americans that were enslaved. 

An interesting note is that in Los Angeles, Ca there was an Indian slave market from 1850 to 1870 located where the LA Country Courthouse is today.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
3.2.19  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Kavika @3.2.17    4 weeks ago
This does not include the millions of Native Americans that were enslaved.

No, you right.  The Native American minority never gets any respect.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.2.20  Kavika   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @3.2.19    4 weeks ago
No, you right. The Native American minority never gets any respect.

You're correct just as the white majority gets too much respect.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
3.2.21  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Kavika @3.2.20    4 weeks ago

Who respects those deplorables?

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.2.22  Kavika   replied to  Drinker of the Wry @3.2.21    4 weeks ago
Who respects those deplorables?

Other deplorables.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
3.2.23  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Kavika @3.2.22    4 weeks ago

Pity the fools.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
3.2.24  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Kavika @3.2.17    4 weeks ago

My maternal grandmother, who was 1/2 Chiricahua Apache told me stories when I was a child about how the Spanish and later the Mexicans enslaved members of the Apache and other tribes of the desert Southwest in Arizona and New Mexico and put to work in mines. Many were worked to death.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.2.25  Kavika   replied to  Ed-NavDoc @3.2.24    4 weeks ago

 The Spanish enslaved thousands of NA in what is now AZ, NM and CA. They enslaved millions in all of the Americas. There was the Pueblo revolt which drove the Spanish out for some years. 

The Mexicans are as you're aware a white top-down society. White at the top, mestizos one step down the ladder, and indigenous at the bottom of the ladder. 

The British and others enslaved hundreds of thousands of NAs in America and many more throughout the Americas.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.2.26  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  JBB @3.2.1    4 weeks ago

The ability to get a mortgage should be the same for everyone - one must qualify for a mortgage, which means a down payment, a dependable source of income, a certain ratio of income to mortgage and a good credit rating.

The government forced banks to abandon that once. The result was a financial/housing crisis.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4  Sean Treacy    4 weeks ago

The obsession with race really hasn't changed all that much since the eugenics days. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Sean Treacy @4    4 weeks ago

It is the path for the left.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
4.1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Vic Eldred @4.1    4 weeks ago

It really got going with Obama and his race hustling propaganda.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
4.1.2  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Greg Jones @4.1.1    4 weeks ago

Ah yes, the famous coalition of everyone vs the white man. I haven't forgotten.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
5  Drinker of the Wry    4 weeks ago
That number matched or surpassed most other countries.

Exactly, apparently, slaves in North America lived much longer and had children in comparison to slaves in the Caribbean, Central and South America.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
5.1  pat wilson  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @5    4 weeks ago

I had deleted that comment when I saw that Kavika had just then posted a comment making the same point.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
5.1.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  pat wilson @5.1    4 weeks ago
I had deleted that comment

What comment did you delete and why?

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
5.1.2  pat wilson  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @5.1.1    4 weeks ago
That number matched or surpassed most other countries.

That was part of the comment I posted. I then saw that Kavika had just posted a comment making a similar point, that

In 1860, a United States census counted nearly four million enslaved people living in the country.   nationalgeographic  .

I deleted mine because it was repetitious.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
5.1.3  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  pat wilson @5.1.2    4 weeks ago

I understand that today, India has the most slaves, followed by China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Russia.  

Back during the Atlantic Slave Trade, the West Indies received the most slaves. US slaves  generations removed from Africa compared to the Caribbean. In the nineteenth century, the majority of slaves in the British Caribbean and Brazil were born in Africa. In 1850, most US slaves were third-, fourth-, or fifth-generation Americans.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
5.1.4  pat wilson  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @5.1.3    4 weeks ago

Yes, I realize that. I thought it made sense to look at the populations after a number of generations, probably more than five by 1860. 

 
 

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