Emory Gets Real About Ties to Slavery

The school's president hopes that a conference will allow the university to engage in self-reflection and be clear about its past.

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Emory University has embarked upon a program to research and discuss the role of slavery in its history. The founders of Emory owned slaves, slave labor was used to build the campus, and the school's pro-slavery views helped drive the North-South schism in the Methodist Episcopal Church that led up to the Civil War.

All of this is being discussed during a conference on Emory's campus this week, where about 30 public and private colleges will examine the role of slavery at institutions of higher learning in America. Not to mention, as the private college marks its 175th anniversary, the board of trustees has released a statement of regret over Emory's involvement with slavery. The statement reads: " ... Emory regrets both this undeniable wrong and the university’s decades of delay in acknowledging slavery’s harmful legacy. As Emory University looks forward, it seeks the wisdom always to discern what is right and the courage to abide by its mission of using knowledge to serve humanity."  

Impressive.

Senior Kyle Black told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "We've talked about African Americans on campus before, but now we're talking about Emory and African Americans. As a black student, I think it's good they've admitted mistakes from the past. Emory is a great school and this just shows it. Now we can talk about it, so let's just talk about it." Kyle, we couldn't have said it better ourselves.

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