Harvard Law School owns past ties to slavery by adding memorial
While top universities are removing Confederate monuments, Harvard is going one step further by owning up to its past connections to slavery. Harvard Law School has unveiled a memorial honoring the slaves whose labor built the wealth the institution was founded on, according to Harvard Law Today.
“We have placed this memorial here, in the campus crossroads, at the center of the school, where everyone travels, where it cannot be missed,” said John F. Manning, the Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Harvard Law School.
“Our school was founded with wealth generated though the profoundly immoral institution of slavery. We should not hide that fact nor hide from it. We can and should be proud of many things this school has contributed to the world. But to be true to our complicated history, we must also shine a light on what we are not proud of.”
Harvard is setting a wonderful example for other institutions that have deep roots in slavery and choose to ignore them or simply don’t know how to acknowledge them.
“Slavery is an aspect of Harvard’s past that has very rarely been acknowledged,” said Harvard University President Drew Faust. “The presence and the contributions of people of African descent at Harvard are stories that have been mostly left untold. We must change that reality. As we acknowledge here today, Harvard along with many other institutions in New England was directly complicit in America’s system of racial bondage.”