Our university must face a reckoning

Dec. 9, 2020

Johns Hopkins portraitThe Washington Post published the following Opinions piece by Martha Jones on Dec. 9.

To some, it is an all-too-familiar story and perhaps not a significant one in a year of racial reckoning: Another elite college discovers ties to slavery. But for many of us who work at Johns Hopkins University, the shattered myth of our university founder, long admired as a Quaker and abolitionist, rattles our school community as well.

Johns Hopkins and slavery

Dec. 9, 2020

Johns Hopkins University Professor Martha Jones spoke with The New York Times for an article about the recent discovery that the university’s founder and benefactor, Johns Hopkins, owned slaves until the mid-1800s, contradicting the oft-repeated narrative that the his father, “following the directives of his Quaker faith, freed the family’s slaves.”

An excerpt from the article detailing Jones’ work to confirm the connections between newly discovered documents and the Hopkins family, as well as the broader project she is leading about the role racism and discrimination have played at Johns Hopkins, follows:

Thurgood Marshall’s courthouse

Dec. 7, 2020

Thurgood Marshall stands in a Baltimore courtroom with his client, Donald Gaines Murray

A 1935 photograph shows Thurgood Marshall, a young lawyer at the counsel table, in the Baltimore City Courthouse. Mid-argument, he stands with notes in one hand and the other outstretched to underscore a point. Marshall’s mentor, Charles Hamilton Houston, sits to his far left making notes. At Marshall’s elbow is his client, Donald Gaines Murray, who beams admiringly at his attorney.