Leading Georgetown to Address Legacy of Slavery
September 1, 2016 - Fr. David Collins, SJ, history professor and chair of Georgetown University’s Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation, is grappling with the legacy of Jesuit slave ownership in the nineteenth century and the sale of 272 enslaved men, women, and children to pay university debts. The recommendations made by the working group, influenced by activism from descendents, scholars of African-American history, and members of the Georgetown community, include renaming buildings, reaching out to descendents of enslaved people who built and maintained the university, and extending preferential status in admissions for descendents. Fr. Collin’s reflected on the legacy of slavery at Georgetown in a New York Times op-ed. In May 2016, AHA member Adam Rothman, also part of the Working Group, addressed this issue for AHA Today.