Rutgers University Attempts To Distance Slavery Ties By Renaming Buildings After Slaves

Rutgers University came under fire late last year after a report was opened following concerns of about the racism on campus raised by black students. The report showed how intertwined slavery was deeply rooted in the early stages of Rutgers founded in 1776.

The report came from the book “Scarlet and Black,” which documented the history of the university’s relationship with slavery and reveals Rutgers’ namesake, Henry Rutgers, owned slaves and that some university trustees also owned slaves and were among the most ardent anti-abolitionists in the mid-Atlantic region states.

Sojourner Truth

The College Avenue Apartment will be renamed after Sojourner Truth, a slave who was owned as young girl by the family of Rutgers’ first president, Jacob Hardenbergh, who might I add went on to become a civil rights and women rights activist who we honor everyday.

Rutgers will also rename the Kilmer Library to the James Dickson Carr Library after Rutgers’ first black graduate and a walkway will be known as “Will’s Walkway” recognizing a slave who helped lay the building’s foundation.

James Dickson Carr

“We thought it was important to show the university is being responsive to this part of our history,” said Richard Edwards, chancellor of the university’s New Brunswick campus. “We acknowledge there are other aspects to our story and we want to have a more complete portrayal of our history.”

What are your thoughts on changing the names of the buildings to honor Rutgers University slave ties?

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