Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery

A view of Harvard College with what is now Massachusetts Avenue in foreground, and college buildings including Massachusetts Hall with the inscription: caption: A Prospect of the Colledges in Cambridge in New England
A view of Harvard College with what is now Massachusetts Avenue in foreground, and college buildings including Massachusetts Hall with the inscription: caption: A Prospect of the Colledges in Cambridge in New England Creation date: 1726 Courtesy Harvard University Archives

On April 26, 2022, Harvard President Larry Bacow released the Report of the Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery, accepted the committee’s recommendations in full, and announced a historic commitment of $100 million to fund their implementation.

The first phase of the initiative’s work was to uncover the truth of Harvard’s ties to slavery through deep research guided by a committee of distinguished faculty drawn from across the University. This research provides a strong foundation for our next phase: the process of reckoning and repair.

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Report of the Presidential Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery

The report of the Presidential Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery documents the University’s ties to slavery—direct, financial, and intellectual—and offers seven recommendations that will guide the work of reckoning and repair now beginning.

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A Legacy of Leadership

Early African American alumni of Harvard and Radcliffe

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W. E. B. Du Bois seated at his desk in his office at Atlanta University. There are many papers on the desk and Du Bois is leaning back and looking off into the distance.

Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery: Walking Tour Experience

Explore Harvard University’s entanglements with the institution of slavery and the history of Black leadership through a 10-stop walking tour in Cambridge, MA.

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Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery: Film

This short film offers an introduction to the first phase of the initiative's work—the history—which undergirds the presidential committee's seven recommendations for action.

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Telling the Truth about All This: Reckoning with Slavery and Its Legacies at Harvard and Beyond

Over the past two decades, universities around the world have begun to engage with their legacies related to slavery. With this history uncovered, we now ask: What must institutions of higher education do? What types of repair work can and should we undertake? We explore these questions through discussions about a range of topics, including engagement with descendant communities, legacies of slavery in libraries and museums, and novel public engagement and educational opportunities.

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Tamar Gonen Brown speaking to BPS students

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