A report of how slavery thrived in New England’s history, has spawned a program that will see to the rectification of enslavement during the 17th-18 century. According Harvard President Lawrence S. Bacow, the report about slavery in New England revealed shocking and disturbing information. Even Harvard University, its faculty, staff and leaders had enslaved at least 70 people whom worked and lived in the campus.
Harvard president Bacow also announced that $100 million will be provided as funding for programs that the university will launch in redressing the institution’s direct ties to slavery since its founding in 1636 until 1783.
The report found that most of the university donors made their fortune from slave trade and from plantations that thrived on profits gained through the enslavement of people who worked in the fields.
The donations of said donors helped the educational institution build its national reputation, develop its infrastructure, grow its collections, employ faculty, provide support student education and expand its physical footprint. Harvard University had memorialized many benefactors who had ties to slavery, by way of dedicating buildings, professorships and installations of statues.
The report also revealed that Harvard’s museum includes collections of the remains of thousands of enslaved indigenous people of African descent. It turned out that many of Harvard’s intellectuals promoted race science and the study of eugenics, some of which utilized abusive methods of research. Harvard University presidents and some of the prominent professors had supported race science, while in search of justifications for slavery and racist ideologies.
Eugenics is a study that focuses on the science of arranging reproduction in a human race as a way to increase the occurrence of the desirable traits and characteristics of that particular race. Apparently, Harvard University was part and parcel of the enslavement and exploitation that took place in the early centuries. The report disclosed that through the years, about ⅓ of the money pledged and donated to Harvard comes from benefactors whose families have had ties with slave traders and slave owners.
Professor Tomiko Brown-Nagin, the chair of the committee in charge of the conducting the report, who is a professor of history and constitutional law at the university, and history, has been urging everyone to read the report.