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Georgetown University to Give Priority to Slave Descendants
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Summary: Descendants of slaves with a tie to Georgetown will be given preferential treatment during the application process.

The admissions selection process will be changing at Georgetown University. Now slave descendants of Maryland Jesuits will be given preference as the school seeks to find forgiveness from their profits off slaves.


School president John DeGioia announced the change to reporters. Georgetown will work to identify and seek out the descendants of slaves sold by the school in 1838 as an effort to recruit them to the university. He said, “We must acknowledge that Georgetown participated in the institution of slavery. There were slaves here on the hilltop until emancipation in 1862.”

Read Harvard Law School Founded by Slave Owner.

A university committee created by DeGioia named the Working Group of Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation also released a report calling on Georgetown leaders to provide a formal apology for the school’s involvement in slavery. Two priests, which were presidents of the university in 1838, organized the sale of 272 slaves working on Maryland plantations in order to pay off debts at the school. The slaves were then sent from Maryland to Louisiana plantations. The descendants of those slaves will be given “the same consideration we give members of the Georgetown community” during the application process.

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DeGioia wrote a letter to students and faculty on Thursday stating, “I believe the most appropriate ways for us to redress the participation of our predecessors in the institution of slavery is the address the manifestations of the legacy of slavery in our time.”

See Alabama Removes Confederate Flags at Memorial Site.

The committee created The Georgetown Slavery Archive to recover genealogical information and materials at the school which provides documents showing the names, ages, and relationships of the 272 slaves. Some of the descendants have already reached out to the school, providing additional details for the school to use in their efforts to rectify the past.

Do you think it is fair the descendants to be accountable for the past? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about other Ivy League schools with ties to slavery, read Harvard Law Reviews Its Crest with Slaveowner History.



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