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Georgetown announces steps to make amends for 1838 slave sale


Nearly 200 years after hosting a slave sale on campus in order to pay off school debt, Georgetown University has announced its intention of making amends to the descendants of those impacted by the sale, as well as to the broader community.

Along with the Archdiocese of Washington and the Society of Jesus in the United States, Georgetown will offer a Mass of Reconciliation for the school’s actions.

The university will also give descendants of the slave sale preferential consideration, treating them with the same consideration as the children of faculty, staff and alumni.

Furthermore, the school will create a memorial to the people sold in the sale. It will rename two residence halls – originally named for the Jesuit priests who orchestrated the sale – after Isaac Hawkins, the first man sold in the 1838 sale, and Anne Marie Becraft, a local African American free woman from Washington D.C. who worked to found a school for African American girls and who later became a religious sister with the Oblate Sisters of Providence in Baltimore.

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