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As Harvard acknowledges ties to slavery, an update on 'Ebony & Ivy'

In a new report, Harvard is setting forth a plan to address its history with slavery. Last year, Into America spoke with students about being Black on campus given the university’s past.

About this episode:

Harvard University is confronting its ties to slavery in a new way. In a sweeping report published this week, the university detailed how the school profited from slavery and acknowledged that more than 70 people were enslaved by Harvard leaders, faculty, and staff between 1636 and 1783 when the state of Massachusetts outlawed the practice.

Last year, Into Americaexplored whether the school understood the nuances of Blackness within its student body, because even though Harvard is one of the Blackest Ivy League schools, Black students still make up just 11 percent of the student body. And it’s estimated that less than a third of its Black students aredescended from people in enslaved the US.

With the release of this new report, we wanted to share Trymaine Lee’s conversation with three students from the African diaspora on campus: Mariah Norman, who is a Generational African American, Ife Adedokun, whose parents are Nigerian immigrants, and Kimani Panthier, whose parents immigrated from Jamaica. The group talked about what it’s like to be Black at Harvard and how they want the university to better support them.

(Originally released December 2, 2021)

Find the transcript here.

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