HBAS Statement on

Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery 

On April 26, 2022, Harvard released a report on its direct participation, financial ties, and intellectual leadership in the institution of slavery, which was followed by a lingering legacy in exclusion, segregation, and discrimination.  The Harvard Black Alumni Society recognizes the contents of the work as important, validating, infuriating, affirming, and so much more.  

Notably, in revealing Harvard's culpability in slavery, the report brings important attention to enslaved people whose contributions have been overlooked, which includes Harvard Black alums: 

"...Black Harvardians made vital contributions to the nationwide struggle against slavery's legacies....These individuals, too, represent Harvard.  They are important actors in the University's history and in the making of a more perfect American union; and they must be made visible in this report. Through struggles against racial oppression and for human freedom, these graduates created legacies of professional leadership and civic engagement, and they made profound legal and social changes.  The achievements of Black graduates of Harvard illustrate the entwining of the nation's racial progress and access to a Harvard, and a Radcliffe, education."

We are proud of the leadership of Harvard Black alums in the fight against racial inequities.  We also commend the Presidential Committee on Harvard & the Legacy Slavery and its chair Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, on their outstanding work.