Harvard: $100 million to compensate descendants of slaves

Harvard: $100 million to compensate descendants of slaves

This announcement is a consequence of the profound internal review of the role that the university played during slavery (Capture street view)

American Harvard University announced this Tuesday the creation of a fund of 100 million dollars to compensate the descendants of slaves who once ownedin an attempt to repair the educational and social gap caused by the legacy of the slave trade and racism.

This announcement is a consequence of the profound internal review of the role played by the university during slavery, which was published on its website, the AFP news agency reported.

The hundred pages of the report make various recommendations for allocating the money.

Among these recommendations is enhance educational opportunities for descendant communities, honor people who were enslaved through a memorial, and research and partner with Black colleagues and universities.

It also recommends identifying and supporting the direct descendants of the Black and Native American slaves who worked on the Harvard campus and were enslaved by then-executives.

“Harvard profited from and in some cases perpetuated practices that were deeply immoral”Harvard President Lawrence Bacow wrote in a letter to students and staff, which is published on the official website of the prestigious university.

“Therefore, I believe we have a moral responsibility to do everything in our power to address the lingering corrosive effects of these historic practices.”he added.

Harvard was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1636.

Report details

The report notes that Harvard staff, including four presidents, enslaved more than 70 people until slavery was outlawed in 1783, AFP added.

The report also notes that the university “profited” from the money slavery generated, in particular, donations from slave traders.

Between the mid-19th century and well into the 20th century, Harvard presidents and prominent professors promoted racist science and eugenics and “conducted abusive ‘research,’ including photographing slaves and subjugating human beings.”

Harvard’s announcement comes as US institutions grapple with how to redress their role in slavery.

Last year, the leaders of the Jesuit priests’ conference advocated devoting 100 million to reparations for the descendants of the slaves who were their property.

In 2019, Georgetown University students approved a fund to benefit descendants of slaves sold by the elite Jesuit school in the 1800s.

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