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Plaque at Harvard Honors Slaves Who Once Lived, Worked There

  • A passer-by walks near a newly unveiled plaque attached to Wadsworth House, Wednesday, April 6, 2016, on the campus of Harvard University that honors four slaves that had been owned by and worked for Harvard's past presidents, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

  • Congressman John Lewis is hugged during a ceremony at Harvard's Wadsworth House honoring four slaves that had been owned by and worked for Harvard's past presidents in the university's Wadsworth House house in Cambridge, Mass., Wednesday, April 6, 2016. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via AP) BOSTON HERALD OUT, QUINCY OUT; NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT

  • A newly unveiled plaque that honors four slaves that had been owned by and worked for Harvard's past presidents, is attached to Wadsworth House, on the campus of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass., Wednesday, April 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

  • Melissa Smith, of Cambridge, Mass., left, a Harvard Law School administrator, and Kyle Courtney, of Hanover, Mass., right, a copyright advisor at Harvard, examine a newly unveiled plaque, Wednesday, April 6, 2016, at Harvard's Wadsworth House, on the school's campus, in Cambridge, Mass. The plaque honors four slaves that had been owned by and worked for Harvard's past presidents. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)


Saturday, April 09, 2016

Cambridge, Mass. (ap) — Harvard University’s president has dedicated a plaque that honors slaves who worked on campus centuries ago.

The slate plaque was placed on Wadsworth House on Wednesday. The building served as the official residence of Harvard’s presidents until 1849.

The plaque lists the names of Titus and Venus, who were slaves who worked for President Benjamin Wadsworth from 1725 until 1737. It also lists the names of Juba and Bilhah, who were slaves in the household of President Edward Holyoke from 1737 until 1769.

President Drew Faust said at the ceremony that Harvard “was directly complicit in America’s system of racial bondage,” and the plaque is meant to remember “stolen lives.”

She was joined by Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, a veteran of the civil rights movement.

Wadsworth House now contains offices.