Georgetown University is doing its part to atone for their participation in slave trading back in 1838. It was then that the university auctioned off nearly 272 slaves for $115,000, a move which helped fund the institution during a run of financial troubles.
Georgetown’s current president, John J. DeGioia, will offer a formal apology to descendants in a speech on Thursday. The university will also have two buildings on the campus renamed to honor slaves, create an institute for the study of slavery and erect a public memorial to honor slave contributions.
Another major move includes giving descendants the same consideration given to members of the Georgetown community in the admissions process.
Here is a full list and breakdown of the university’s plans:
- Naming Freedom Hall (once known as Mulledy Hall) as Isaac Hall, in honor of Isaac, the enslaved person whose name is the first mentioned in the documents of the 1838 sale
- Naming Remembrance Hall (once known as McSherry Hall) as Anne Marie Becraft Hall in honor of Anne Marie Becraft, a free woman of color who founded a school for black girls in the neighborhood of Georgetown in 1827. She later joined the newly founded Oblate Sisters of Providence in Baltimore, the oldest active Roman Catholic sisterhood in the Americas established by women of African descent.
- Offering an apology for the university’s historical relationship with slavery
- Engaging with the descendant community in an active and sustained manner
- Developing a public memorial to the enslaved to ensure their memory is honored and preserved
- Actively pursuing research and teaching, establishing a new Institute for the Study of Slavery and Its Legacies at Georgetown
The move has not been well-received by some, who say it’s simply not enough.
“We profited from selling your ancestors, so we’ll move you to the front of the line to pay us money.”
— Philip Bump (@pbump) September 1, 2016
What do you think? Should G-Town do more?
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