Georgetown University is one of the country’s top-ranked schools and has a roughly $1.6 billion endowment. But in 1838, the university was facing financial ruin. So the Jesuit priests, who ran Georgetown, sold 272 enslaved people to three plantations in Louisiana for $115,000 — or the equivalent of about $3.3 million in today’s dollars to keep their doors open. That’s how the ancestors of DaVita Robinson, Valerie White, Maxine Crump — all descendants of the 272 and featured in the Video Op-Ed above — ended up in Louisiana.
And now, they may become the first people in the history of the United States to receive reparations for slavery.
In 2019, Georgetown students pushed the school to create a reparations fund. Georgetown has promised to raise $400,000 per year to go toward descendants of the enslaved people it sold. With more than 8,000 known descendants living today, is the school’s fund even close to what’s owed?
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