Georgetown Offers Olive Branch to Descendants of Slaves

What's Hot

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to RetireFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

5 Spots Where Retirees Can Live for Less Than $40,000Real Estate

10 Ways to Reduce Your Homeowner’s Insurance RatesFamily

10 Ways to Pull Together the Down Payment for a HomeCredit & Debt

Chew on This: The Story Behind Your Hershey’s Halloween TreatsBusiness

Georgetown University is offering admissions preference to the descendants of 272 slaves. Find out why the school is making the gesture.

Nearly 180 years after Georgetown University sold 272 slaves — and used the proceeds to help pay off the Catholic school’s massive debts — the university is attempting to atone for its slavery-era past.

Georgetown announced it will give descendants of the black slaves it sold in 1838 preferential treatment in its admissions process, a perk it already offers to legacy students — family members of alumni or those who attended the college. Descendants of other enslaved people whose labor benefited the school also will receive the benefit.

That’s just one of many reconciliation initiatives the 18,000-student university plans to implement since it released a new report from its 16-member Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation. In a letter to the Georgetown community dated Sept. 1, John DeGioia, Georgetown president, writes:

I believe the most appropriate ways for us to redress the participation of our predecessors in the institution of slavery is to address the manifestations of the legacy of slavery in our time.

DeGioia also plans to offer a formal apology for the university’s former ties to slavery, erect a memorial to the slaves whose labor benefited the school and create an institute for the study of slavery.

The university, which was founded by Jesuits in 1789, was kept afloat in the 1830s by the money it made selling hundreds of enslaved men, women and children owned by the Jesuits of the Maryland Province to Louisiana sugar plantation owners.

According to NPR, the university received the equivalent of $3.3 million for the slave sale, “securing (the university’s) survival.”

Georgetown also plans to rename two buildings on campus for African-Americans. The buildings were formerly named after two university presidents who helped organize the slave sale, says NPR.

Georgetown is one of several U.S. universities struggling to acknowledge and make amends for their past ties to slavery. But Georgetown is the first to offer preferential admissions status to descendants of slaves, reports The New York Times.

What do you think of Georgetown’s decision? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: How to Earn Cash Back on Every Online purchase and Get a Free $10 Gift Card

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,714 more deals!