Harvard University, and its hallowed halls, is one of the most-respected higher learning institutions in the world. But like many longstanding establishments in the United States of America, it had a connection to slavery and racism. A ceremony last week seeks to rectify the past.
University President Drew Faust presented a plaque at the Wadsworth House, honoring slaves Titus and Venus. The pair worked for President Benjamin Wadsworth from 1725 to 1737, when Wadsworth died. The plaque, presented by Faust also honored the lives of slaves Juba and Bilhah, who worked for President Edward Holyoke from 1737 to Holyoke’s passing in 1769.
Ms. Faust said at the ceremony that Harvard was “complicit in America’s system of racial bondage.” The event was attended by Civil Rights Movement pioneer and Congressman John Lewis. In recent news clippings, the slaves are credited for helping to build the university.
The Wadsworth House is primarily an administrative building on the campus.