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Notes

A Note to Readers: On the Legacy of Slavery at Harvard

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To our readers:

Today, The Crimson chose to dedicate our front page to the memory of the individuals enslaved by leadership, faculty, staff, and donors at Harvard University.

The people recognized on the page are only those whom Harvard was able to identify. As Tuesday’s landmark University report on the legacy of slavery at Harvard says, this is “almost certainly an undercount.” For these people, we often know only their nicknames; for a few, we know only their race and gender. This is the result of the systemic erasure that to this day continues to deny enslaved people their histories.

Writing their names as best we know them, we are reminded that history is not just a collection of facts. It is a collection of stories. Behind each name was an individual: a brother, a mother, a wife, a son — a human. The forefathers of Harvard didn’t recognize their humanity, and shackled them in slavery. Today, we must reckon with the knowledge of this atrocity.

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At Harvard, we frequently encounter the names of enslavers like Mather and Winthrop. We rarely encounter the names of the individuals they enslaved. Today, as copies of the paper are distributed across campus, we hope to change that. We hope our readers will spend time with the issue and sit with these names — perhaps even say them aloud.

Sincerely,

Raquel Coronell Uribe ’22-’23
President of the 149th Guard

Jasper G. Goodman ’23
Managing Editor of the 149th Guard

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