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Georgetown has decided that there is not a statute of limitations on slavery , and that to reckon with the past they had to engage historically.

The Reparations Plan

In addition to these measures, the university will offer the descendants of enslaved African Americans sold by its friars preferential treatment in admissions similar to the boost that so-called legacy students already receive. It will also rename two campus buildings in honor of African Americans—one an educator and another one of the enslaved who made the university a financial possibility. But is this enough? Perhaps, instead, the University of Chicago can find a way to look beyond Georgetown and what many have rightly criticized as its self-congratulatory, self-serving, and extremely limited program.

Chicago , like Washington D. Establishing an African American Studies department should be a no-brainer. So, too, should be a concerted effort to recruit and develop faculty of color while vigorously recruiting and mentoring underrepresented students to attend the university. But this should happen anyway. Maybe a further step would be to encourage the University to build more deeply upon the community-based efforts it is already engaging in. These include the UChicago Promise program, which provides enrichment programs for talented but under-served public school students.

There is also the Chicago Public Schools Educators Award Scholarship —a full scholarship to attend the University for the children of educators in the Chicago Public Schools—which should be broadly promoted and expanded. But, again, this is already happening as it should. Here we must return to Julie and the enslaved peoples of the Douglas plantation. Any program of reparations must begin with them and their descendants.

Reparations that flow back to the university itself either in the form of goodwill or an improved campus experience are not reparations. This cannot be a question of what the university will do for black communities. It must be a function of what black communities demand as payment to forgive an unforgivable debt. They need to own that table and have full control over how reparations are structured.

We must imagine an entirely new model of human interactions, self-governance, and social organization. One that shuns hierarchies and fosters horizontalism. If done correctly, reparations can lead the way to a fresh re-conceptualization of politics—not based in crude self-interest but justice and even love. Reparations promise us a monumental re-birthing of America. Like most births, this one will be painful. But the practice of reparations must continue until the world that slavery built is rolled up and a new order spread out in its place. Until then, the University of Chicago must begin all of its conversations with the knowledge that it is party to a horrific crime that can never be fully rectified.

But still it must try. And through that trying it must embrace an entirely new mission—one that centers slavery, the lives of the enslaved, and their descendants. Caine Jordan is a first-year Ph. His work focuses on race, respectability, and racial uplift in the Civil Rights Movement. History Workshop. Follow him on Twitter GuyEmersonMount. Thank you for this stunning essay.

It reveals long buried history, and suggests clear actions for the University of Chicago to take in our own time. Accomplishing both tasks in a short essay is quite impressive and meaningful. Please permit me one simple question. Is there any known relationship between the Stephen A.

Douglass, the U. Senator from Illinois? Thank you. Thank you for reading and sorry if it was not clear that, yes, we are talking about the Senator Stephen A.

The McConnell family slaves

Douglas of the Lincoln Douglas debate fame. We are still at the tip of the iceberg in exploring this aspect of the story.


The Old University of Chicago, which is the one Douglas helped found, went bankrupt in The argument that the University was founded by slavery because of a carryover of alumni, culture, architecture, or books is farcical: Should we not hire graduates of Harvard Law School to teach at the Law School because HLS was endowed with money from the Royall Family?

Daniel, See the lengthier discussion in the paper linked at the bottom of the article, starting at p. Ditto on white paper reference. Also see my response below to Prof. Just some thoughts…Though, I am no historical academician or expert on this particular subject, but as a person of color, and arts administrator. How to make right historical wrong s —that seemingly continue to plague us with adverse, negative effects on a certain people descended from slavery?

I Have a Dream speech by Martin Luther King .Jr HD (subtitled) (Remastered)

How do we measure the everyday cultural, economic, housing and psychological stains and torment still impacting those that helped to build these learned esteemed institutions? We applaud the efforts and the strides made by the University of Chicago within the overall communities adjacent to it. The programs are positive, and helpful but more is needed. Recognition, admission and exposure of the past within universities, colleges and businesses bare the responsibility. There are plenty of examples already in place for them to follow and lead.

Setting a local precedent at the south side campus would be an admirable start necessary towards bridging the gap towards truth and reconciliation here in this city. This is a stunning and elegantly argued find by these amazing graduate students…bravo!

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As a scholar of Chicago and the University of Chicago in particular, I personally owe these young scholars a debt of gratitude. Of course there are material and cultural connections here that also cannot be denied.

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For me this pathbreaking finding about Stephen Douglas is just further confirmation about a clear higher education outlook linking racial difference to economic stability…. Thank you Prof. Baldwin for your kind words! I think we only cited your work once in the longer white paper but you and Prof.

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