The reparations tides are changing in 2022. According to NPR, Harvard University has released a report detailing the school’s involvement in the U.S. slave trade, including faculty and staff owning slaves and professors teaching racial eugenics.
In 2019, Harvard President Lawrence Bacow formed a committee that included representatives from all the schools on campus, and asked them to uncover Harvard’s ties to slavery.
The committee’s work should “have a strong grounding in rigorous research and critical perspectives that will inform not only our understanding of facts, but also how we might address the ramifications of what we learn,” he said at the time.
The committee found that Harvard faculty and staff enslaved 70 people from the school’s founding in 1636 to the banning of slavery in Massachusetts in 1783.
Some of those who were enslaved lived on campus and were responsible for providing care for Harvard’s presidents, professors and students.
Additionally, the report discovered many of the university’s donors profited directly from the slave trade in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
Some used labor from enslaved people in the Caribbean and the American South. Others obtained their wealth from selling goods to plantations. Donors in the textile industry sourced cotton that was grown by enslaved persons.
“During the first half of the 19th century, more than a third of the money donated or promised to Harvard by private individuals came from just five men who made their fortunes from slavery and slave-produced commodities,” the report said.