Graduate Essay Finds Yale History Intertwined with Slavery

Article excerpt

The founding fathers of Yale University and important men in the school's 300-year history are remembered to this day in stone and stained glass.

But three graduate students report in a newly published essay that some of these Yale leaders and graduates earned their status through the blood and sweat of slaves.

Some of these men have residential colleges named after them, including one that was named in the middle of the 1960s civil rights straggle.

The university's history is being examined as some city leaders support reparations for the descendants of slaves and other institutions explore their links to slavery.

"Universities are all about pursuing the truth, and that's what we see going on here," says Antony Dugdale, one author of the essay. "All universities across the country should research their history and help this country come to terms with its past."

Yale spokesman Tom Conroy says the essay fits in with a year-long examination of Yale's history on the 300th anniversary of its founding.

"No institution with a history stretching long before emancipation is untainted by the evils of slavery, and our discussion of those connections is important and worthwhile," Conroy says.

Yale is home to the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition.

The university also has among its prominent leaders and graduates many leaders in the abolitionist movement.

The essay's authors are labor union activists on campus. Dugdale is a full-time researcher for the Federation of Hospital and University Employees, and the other authors, J.J. Fueser and J. Celso de Castro Alves, are leaders of the Graduate Employees and Students Organization. …


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