A recent weekend webinar about slave history in the physical building of the University of Georgia in Athens, supports the extended research that traces African Americans’ involvement on campuses across the nation.
Even worse in Athens, UGA’s Baldwin Hall just completed its unearthing and findings of the bones of former slaves who were buried beneath the campus building. The Athens community leaders are also revealing a troubling legacy of low literacy rates among African Americans.
A recent article about the University of Delaware’s findings regarding its New Jersey campus including the school’s 1950 stance against allowing African Americans their justified attendance. The students had to sue to attend the University of Delaware. The University of Delaware is not alone. Several universities are engaged in directed, meaningful research and results projects regarding its slave histories. These same institutions are creating architectural memorials of its enslaved histories such as the University of Virginia as shown below.
Like me, many researchers rejoice when we locate our ancestors who attended colleges during post-slavery and during Jim Crow. Yet, as much attention should be directed to researching the ties African Americans and Afro Caribbeans have to universities and colleges through enslaved conditions. It may require that enslavers are researched first to link African American ancestors to the slave labor that was lent to building these institutions.
Your assignment: Hit the books at colleges and universities where African American ancestors lived. You will go to the head of the class based on your findings.