Universities Grapple With Historical Ties To Slavery

The Sir Christopher Wren Building on the campus of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia is the oldest college building still standing in the United States
The Sir Christopher Wren Building on the campus of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia is the oldest college building still standing in the United States Ken Lund / Flickr
The Sir Christopher Wren Building on the campus of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia is the oldest college building still standing in the United States
The Sir Christopher Wren Building on the campus of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia is the oldest college building still standing in the United States Ken Lund / Flickr

Universities Grapple With Historical Ties To Slavery

In the past month, both the University of Bristol and the University of Cambridge in England have announced plans to research their historical links to slavery. But other universities, particularly in the United States, have been doing similar work for years. Among those universities are the College of William & Mary in Virginia and Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee. Both are members of Universities Studying Slavery, a group of academic institutions that collaborate to address historical and contemporary issues of race in higher education and the legacy of slavery. Joining the show to discuss this work is Jody Allen, assistant professor of history at the College of William & Mary and director of The Lemon Project: A Journey of Reconciliation, which is “uncovering, making public, and addressing William & Mary’s 326-year relationship with African Americans on the campus and in the Williamsburg and Greater Tidewater area.” Also with us are Woody Register, a professor of American history at Sewanee and director of the Sewanee Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation, and Klarke Stricklen, a Sewanee student and research assistant for the Sewanee Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation.

Colton Williams is also a student at Sewanee and a research assistant for the Sewanee Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation. He offered some additional thoughts on what it is like to be a college student studying the history of slavery: