Grappling with its history of slavery, Georgetown gathers descendants for a day of repentanceBreaking News
tags: slavery, Georgetown University
About 100 men and women whose ancestors were once sold as slaves to fund the nascent Georgetown University gathered at that university Tuesday for an emotional worship service of remembrance and repentance.
Maryland’s Jesuit priests sold 272 slaves in 1838 and used the proceeds of the sale to secure the future of the floundering new college. That sale became well known only last year, through the research of genealogists and then widespread publicity. Now, the university is grappling with how to respond to the new knowledge of its history — as are dozens of people who have learned their ancestors were once enslaved by men of God and sold by those priests to even more brutal slavery in Louisiana.
The worship service Tuesday, part of a full day of events in which Georgetown renamed a building in honor of the first of the 272 slaves listed on the document of sale, was the first time Georgetown had gathered these descendants together on campus.
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