Slavery, Race and Memory Project at Wake Forest University Issues New Report

Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina has published a new report with several essays concerning the educational institution’s ties to slavery.

The university was founded on the grounds of an old plantation near Raleigh in 1834 before moving to its current location in 1956. In 1836, the estate of John Blount, which included land and enslaved Black people was donated to the school. In 1860, 14 enslaved humans were auctioned for a total of $10,718 that added to the university’s endowment.

The new report contains essays written by Wake Forest faculty and administrators. It also includes President Nathan O. Hatch’s apology for the institution’s participation in and benefit from slavery.

“The essays in our publication help to frame and augment a history that has been ignored. By acknowledging this important chapter and reckoning with it, the university can better understand the implications this history has on the institution today,” said Kami Chavis, associate provost of academic initiatives and co-chair of the Slavery, Race and Memory Project Steering Committee.

Wake Forest University admitted its first Black student in 1962. Today, African Americans make up 6 percent of the undergraduate student body, according to the latest data supplied to the U.S. Department of Education.

The report, To Stand With And For Humanity: Essays from the Wake Forest University Slavery, Race and Memory Project, may be downloaded by clicking here.

A video about the project may be viewed below.


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