Ebony and Ivy
Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's UniversitiesBook - 2013
A leading African-American historian of race in America exposes the uncomfortable truths about race, slavery and the American academy, revealing that our leading universities, dependent on human bondage, became breeding grounds for the racist ideas that sustained it.
A groundbreaking and incendiary exploration of the intertwined histories of slavery, racism, and higher education in America, from a leading African-American historian
A 2006 report commissioned by Brown University revealed that institution's complex and contested involvement in slavery-setting off a controversy that leapt from the ivory tower to make headlines across the country. But Brown's troubling past was far from unique. In Ebony and Ivy, Craig Steven Wilder, a rising star in the profession of history, lays bare uncomfortable truths about race, slavery, and the American academy.
Many of America's revered colleges and universities-from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to Rutgers, Williams College, and UNC-were soaked in the sweat, the tears, and sometimes the blood of people of color. The earliest academies proclaimed their mission to Christianize the savages of North America, and played a key role in white conquest. Later, the slave economy and higher education grew up together, each nurturing the other. Slavery funded colleges, built campuses, and paid the wages of professors. Enslaved Americans waited on faculty and students; academic leaders aggressively courted the support of slave owners and slave traders. Significantly, as Wilder shows, our leading universities, dependent on human bondage, became breeding grounds for the racist ideas that sustained them.
Ebony and Ivy is a powerful and propulsive study and the first of its kind, revealing a history of oppression behind the institutions usually considered the cradle of liberal politics.
In this chronological treatment from the early Colonial era to the 19th century, the author analyzes how America's universities were founded on the profits of slavery and how early universities became breeding grounds for 'scientific' rationalizations of white supremacy. The author also examines higher education's destruction of Native American culture and the university's role in propagating the vision of white people as the sole possessors of the North American mainland. The legacies of slavery that remain in American intellectual culture are also considered. The book will appeal mainly to scholars. The author was recently profiled in the documentary, The Central Park Five. Annotation ©2014 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
A leading African American historian of race in America exposes the uncomforable truths about race, slavery, and the American academy, revealing that leading universities, dependent on human bondage, became breeding grounds for the racist ideas that sustained it.