Antigua Demands Harvard Pay Reparations for Benefiting From Slavery

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tags: slavery, Harvard, reparations, Antigua

More than 200 years ago, a wealthy Antiguan plantation owner helped found Harvard Law School with riches made from slavery. Now the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda is seeking reparations from Harvard to finance the nation’s own public university campus.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne made the request in a letter dated Oct. 30, arguing that the law school would not exist without the labor of his country’s people and that the university owed amends to his citizens.

“Reparation from Harvard would compensate for its development on the backs of our people,” Mr. Browne wrote. “Reparation is not aid; it is not a gift; it is compensation to correct the injustices of the past and restore equity. Harvard should be in the forefront of this effort.”

The Antiguan prime minister’s push is the latest example of a recent effort to elicit compensation and address historical ties to slavery at major universities in the United States. This fall, Princeton Theological Seminary and Virginia Theological Seminary created reparations funds, and Georgetown said last week that it would create a fund to benefit the descendants of enslaved people who were sold by the school.

Read entire article at NY Times