No major institution in America has wrestled more deeply with the question of reparations for African Americans than Georgetown University. Five years ago, a student discovered that Maryland Jesuits sold 272 slaves in 1838 to save the school from financial ruin. That forgotten history sparked an anguished conversation about Georgetown’s complicity in slavery and the school’s responsibility to the descendants of the 272 enslaved people.
In this episode of Radical Imagination, Angela Glover Blackwell speaks with one of the descendants, Melisande Short-Colomb, who is now a a student at Georgetown. We also hear from Howard University history professor Ana Lucia Araujo about what it will take for our nation to finally reckon with and atone for slavery and its legacy.