dimanche 17 avril 2016

Georgetown University et la traite des Noirs: un passé douloureux

Comment les dirigeants d'une prestigieuse université doivent-ils composer avec un passé controversé et lié à la traite des Noirs? Ont-ils une dette envers les descendants des anciens esclaves? Retour sur une transaction de 1838 qui permet de d'établir un lien direct entre la vente d'esclaves et le financement de l'université.

  "More than a dozen universities — including Brown, Columbia, Harvard and the University of Virginia — have publicly recognized their ties to slavery and the slave trade. But the 1838 slave sale organized by the Jesuits, who founded and ran Georgetown, stands out for its sheer size, historians say.

At Georgetown, slavery and scholarship were inextricably linked. The college relied on Jesuit plantations in Maryland to help finance its operations, university officials say. (Slaves were often donated by prosperous parishioners.) And the 1838 sale — worth about $3.3 million in today’s dollars — was organized by two of Georgetown’s early presidents, both Jesuit priests.

Some of that money helped to pay off the debts of the struggling college."

“The university itself owes its existence to this history,” said Adam Rothman, a historian at Georgetown and a member of a university working group that is studying ways for the institution to acknowledge and try to make amends for its tangled roots in slavery. "


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