On the Issues with Mike Gousha | Program | Craig Steven Wilder


>>HELLO EVERYONE. WELCOME TO “ON THE ISSUES.” I’M MIKE GOUSHA. THE ACADEMY AWARD WINNING FILM, “12 YEARS A SLAVE,” FOCUSED ON SLAVERY, MUCH OF THE FILM WAS SET IN THE PLANTATION SOUTH, BUT SLAVERY WAS A POWERFUL FORCE IN MANY ASPECTS OF AMERICAN LIFE. IN FACT, THE PROPHETS DERIVED FROM THE SLAVE TRADE PROVIDED A FOUNDATION FOR SOME OF OUR MOST REVERED COLLEGES. THIS UNSETTLING STORY BETWEEN THE RELATIONSHIPS OF ACADEMY OF HIGHER LEARNING AND THE SLAVE TRADE IS TOLD IN “EBONY AND IVORY, RACE, SLAVERY AND THE TROUBLE HISTORY OF AMERICA’S UNIVERSITIES,” WRITTEN BY THE HEAD OF THE HISTORY DEPARTMENT AT M.I.T., PROFESSOR CRAIG STEVEN WILDER, AND PROFESSOR WILDER JOINS ME NOW. LET’S TALK ABOUT THE REASON YOU WROTE THIS BOOK. WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THIS SUBJECT THAT APPEALED TO YOU, AND WHY DID YOU THINK THE STORY NEEDED TO BE TOLD?>>I THINK ACTUALLY, PART OF WHAT REALLY WAS APPEALING IS THE ACCIDENTAL WAY IN WHICH I FELL INTO THE TOPIC. YOU KNOW, I WAS LOOKING TO WRITE A SHORT ARTICLE EXPLAINING NOW BLACK ABOLISHISTS, FREED BLACK PEOPLE IN THE DECADE BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR ENTERED THE PROFESSIONS. HOW DO YOU BECOME A MINISTER, A DOCTOR, A TEACHER, IN A NATION WHERE YOU CAN’T GO TO COLLEGE? AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT — FORCED ME TO DO AS I WAS DOING THE RESEARCH FOR IT WAS TO CONFRONT THE EXCLUSION OF BLACK STUDENTS FROM AMERICAN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. AND THE LONG HISTORY OF THAT EXCLUSION AND IT FORCED ME TO THINK ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY IN A DIFFERENT WAY. RATHER THAN SEEING THE COLLEGE AS AN INSTITUTION THAT FITS INTO THE BACKDROP OF HISTORY AND OBSERVES, ALL OF A SUDDEN, I WAS SEEING COLLEGES SHAPE HISTORY, SHAPE WHO WAS EDUCATABLE. PARTICIPATING IN THE CULTURE OF THE MOMENT AND THAT DESERVED ATTENTION. WE AS ACADEMICS HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO BE AS HONEST OF YOUR OWN PAST AS THE HISTORY OF OTHER INSTITUTIONS.>>THE CONCLUSION YOU CAME TO ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SLAVE TRADE AND SOME OF OUR REALLY MOST BELOVED INSTITUTIONS, SOME OF OUR OLDEST INSTITUTIONS, IS PRETTY TOUGH. AND YOU’LL INDULGE ME FOR A MOMENT, I HAVE TO READ FOR A MOMENT. I HAVE TO PUT ON GLASSES, YOU KNOW YOU GET OLDER THESE DAYS. YOU SAID HERE THE ACADEMY NEVER STOOD APART FROM THE AMERICAN SLAVERY. IN FACT, IT STOOD BESIDE CHURCH AND STATE AS THE THIRD PILLAR OF A CIVILIZATION BUILT ON BONDAGE. I CALL THAT A TOUGH JUDGMENT, A HARSH JUDGMENT. I KNOW HOW MUCH HIGHER EDUCATION MEANS TO YOU, AS A PROFESSOR, I KNOW WHAT IT’S MEANT FOR YOUR LIFE. HOW HARD WAS IT TO WRITE THOSE WORDS, TO COME TO THAT CONCLUSION ABOUT SOMETHING YOU LOVE?>>IT’S ACTUALLY VERY DIFFICULT. I’VE SPENT MY ENTIRE ADULT LIFE EITHER AS A STUDENT OR AS A FACULTY MEMBER. IN ELITE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION. THESE VERY SCHOOLS, AND COLLEGE GAVE ME AND MY FAMILY A CHANCE TO SORT OF TRANSFORM OUR LIVES, YOU KNOW, IT ALLOWED MY SISTERS AND I, MY MOTHER, TO GO FROM POVERTY TO THE MIDDLE CLASS. FROM, KNOW, THREE KIDS BEING RAISED BY A SINGLE MOTHER IN BEDFORD STYVERSON BROOKLYN. MY OLDER SISTER WORKED FOR THE NYPD FOR SEVERAL YEARS, SO IT REALLY DID GIVE US A CHANCE TO CHANGE OUR LIVES AND I’VE ALWAYS THOUGHT ABOUT COLLEGES AS THE BENEVOLENT INSTITUTIONS. THAT WAS A DIFFICULT SENTENCE TO WRITE, BUT IT WAS ALSO THE RIGHT SENTENCE TO PUT THERE BECAUSE I THINK WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO BE HONEST ABOUT OURSELVES AND PART OF THAT OBLIGATION ALSO INCLUDES TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ROLE THAT WE LAY IN HISTORY ITSELF — THAT WE LAY IN HISTORY ITSELF, AND I DIDN’T WANT TO BE AN ACADEMIC WRITING EXCUSES FOR THE ACADEMY, I JUST WANTED TO BE AS HONEST AS I COULD, BRUTALLY HONEST AS I COULD ABOUT THE PAST I WAS OBSERVING AND EXPLORING.>>LET’S GO BACK TO SOME OF THE ORIGINS OF THESE INSTITUTIONS. YOU WRITE IN THIS BOOK IN MANY RESPECTS, THESE COLLEGES WERE FOUNDED IN PART TOO CIVILIZED, NATIVE AMERICANS TO CONVERT THEM TO CHRISTIANITY. DID THAT SURPRISE YOU THAT THAT’S WHERE THIS ALL BEGAN?>>IT DID. I ACTUALLY HAD HEARD AND HAD LEARNED THE STORY QUITE DIFFERENTLY, AND THE STORY WE HAD LEARNED IN COLLEGE AND IN GRADUATE SCHOOL IS THAT THE ORIGINS OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE WERE REALLY IN THE DESIRE OF THE COLONIST TO PROVIDE FOR THEMSELVES AN ORTHODOX MINISTRY IN THE VARIOUS DENOMINATIONS, SO THE REALLY QUITE PROMINENT ROLE THAT COLLEGES PLAYED IN THE PROCESS OF COLONIZING AND CONQUERING NATIVE PEOPLE DID SURPRISE ME, AND YOU KNOW, AS AN EXAMPLE, THE FIRST BRICK BUILDING ON HARVARD YARD IS THE INDIAN COLLEGE AND ALL OF THE COLLEGES ESTABLISHED FROM HARVARD ON, END UP SENDING EMISSARIES TO EUROPE TO RAISE MONEY FOR THE EADVANTAGELYIZATION OF NATIVE AMERICANS. I WRITE IN THE 18th ENCENTURY, THEY’RE BUMPING INTO EACH OTHER TO RAISE MONEY FROM THE SAME SOURCES. YOU CAN SEE THIS COMING TOGETHER ACTUALLY VERY EARLY IN HARVARD’S HISTORY. HARVARD IS FOUNDED IN 1636, THE VERY NEXT YEAR, A WAR BREAKS OUT IN SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND BETWEEN THE ENGLISH AND THE PEQUOT INDIANS, CULMINATES IN THE PEQUOT MASSACRE IN WHICH SEVERAL HUNDRED PERFORMERS QUOTE ARE EXECUTED AND LARGE NUMBER OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN ARE TAKEN CAPTIVE. THE FIRST SLAVE SHIP TO LEAVE NEW ENGLAND LEAVE, IT’S THE DESIRE, AND IT LEAVES CARRYING PEQUOT CAPTIVES, WHO ARE GOING TO BE SOLD IN BERMUDA AND THE WEST INDIES AND RETURNS CARRYING ENSLAVED FOR INSTANCE. THAT NEXT YEAR IN 1638. THAT’S THE YEAR WHEN HARVARD GETS ITS FIRST SLAVE, A MAN NAMED “MOOR” IS LIVING ON HARVARD’S CAMPUS. 1638. OWNED TWO YEARS AFTER HARVARD IS FOUNDED. HE’S OWNED BY NATHANIEL EATON, WHO IS THE MASTER OF THE SCHOOL, THE ONLY PROFESSOR AND HE’S USED TO SERVED THE STUDENTS AND TO SERVE THE CAMPUS. IT’S A RELATIVELY CRUDE CAMPUS. AND SO YOU HAVE AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF HARVARD, THE BRAIDING OF THREE DISTINCT HISTORIES, THE HISTORIES OF THE PURITANS AND THE NATIVE CONQUEST IN THE PEQUOT WAR AND THE BEGINNINGS OF AFRICAN HISTORY IN NEW ENGLAND ARE ALL CONNECTED RIGHT ON CAMPUS.>>YOU MENTIONED THE VARIOUS INSTITUTIONS OVERSEAS IN ENGLAND LOOKING FOR MONEY, WELL, EVENTUALLY, THEY FOUND ANOTHER SOURCE OF MONEY, AND THAT WAS MONEY FROM THE SLAVE TRADE AND THEY LOOKED TO THE WEST IN — WEST INDIES FOR THE MONEY. DID IT BECOME A SITUATION WHERE YOU HAD FLEDGLING UNIVERSITIES CATERING TO THE WEALTHY SLAVE MERCHANTS OF THE WEST INDIES, INVITING THEIR SONS TO COME TO THE COLONIES,.>>THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT YOU HAVE. IN BRITISH NORTH AMERICA, THERE ARE ONLY THREE COLLEGES ON THE MAINLAND UNTIL THE MIDDLE OF THE 18th CENTURY. HARVARD IN 1636, WILLIAM & MAYOR IN V IN 1693 AND YALE IN CONNECTICUT IN 1701. AND BETWEEN 1746 AND 1769, LESS THAN A QUARTER CENTURY, SIX NEW COLLEGES ARE FOUNDED, PRINCETON, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, COLUMBIA, BROWN, RUTGERS AND DARTMOUTH, ALL GET FOUNDED IN THAT 23-YEAR PERIOD. THAT’S WHEN THE AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE IS PEAKING AND THESE COLLEGES ARE FOUNDED WITH CLOSE TIES TO THE FAMILIES WHO ARE INVOLVED IN THE SLAVE TRADE AND IN PROVISIONING THE WEST WEST INDIES. THE WROTE, THE NUMBER OF COLLEGES, ACTUALLY MEANS THAT YOU’RE NOW HUNTING FOR MONEY, AND JOHN WITHERSPOON, THE PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY, WHICH IS NOW PRINCETON.>>WHO SIGNED THE DECLARATION OF THE INDEPENDENCE.>>RIGHT, SIGNED THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. SHORTLY AFTER HE ARRIVES IN AMERICA, HE WRITES A MISSIVE TO THE INDIANS AND WARNS THEM THAT THEIR HABIT OF SENDING THEIR SONS TO ENGLAND FOR THEIR EDUCATION WAS DANGEROUS BECAUSE UNSCRUPULOUS MEN PREY MONDAY YOUNG WELL THEY, WEST INDIAN BOYS WHO TRAVEL THROUGH PLACES LIKE LONDON, BUT IF YOU SEND YOUR SONS TO PRINCETON, WHERE THEY WILL BE TAKEN CARE OF, CATERED TOO, THEY’LL BE FAR ENOUGH AWAY FROM HOME WHERE THEY CAN’T RUN AWAY EVERY TIME THINGS GET HARD, BUT THEY’LL BE CLOSE ENOUGH THAT YOU CAN COME VISIT THEM. IT WAS A VERY MODERN APPEAL.>>MODERN MARKETING CAMPAIGN.>>MODERN MARKETING CAMPAIGN, BUT IN FACT, IT WAS ALSO QUITE SKILLFULLY POINTED TO, AN EXTRAORDINARY SOURCE OF WEALTH IN THE AMERICAS, THE WEST INDIAN PLANTERS WHO INCLUDED IN PLACES LIKE BARBADOS, THE WEALTHIEST MEN IN ALL OF BRITISH AMERICA.>>WE STARTED TO SEE MORE TOO IN THE SOUTHERN COLONIES, AS WE SAW SLAVERY AND PLANTATIONS AND THE WEALTH OF THE SLAVE TRADE THERE. DID THAT RESULT IN UNIVERSITIES ALSO BEGINNING TO BE BUILT IN THE SOUTH?>>YEAH. IT RESULTS IN TWO THINGS, FIRST, IT RESULTS IN A LOT OF NORTHERN SCHOOLS SENDING AGENTS SOUTH, LOOKING FOR DONORS AND STUDENTS, AND SO, YOU KNOW, AT BROWN, THE COLLEGE OF RHODE ISLAND AT THE TIME, THEY SENT EMISSARIES DOWN TO SOUTH CAROLINA, WHERE THERE’S A HEALTHY BAPTIST POPULATION AND BROWN IS A BAPTIST SCHOOL. COLUMBIA IS LOOKING TO RECRUIT WEALTHY VIRGINIAANS BACK TO NEW YORK, PRINCETON IS READING OUT THROUGHOUT THE SOUTH AND WITHERSPOON IN FACT SENDS A LOT OF HIS GRADUATES, THE YOUNG MEN WHO FINISHED THE UNDERGRADUATE COURSE, HE’LL SEND THEM SOUTH, TO HELP BUILD SORT OF FEEDER SCHOOLS, BASICALLY, ADVANCED SCHOOLS, HIGH SCHOOLS, THAT WILL PREPARE YOUNG MEN FOR COLLEGE AND THEN SEND THEM BACK TO PRINCETON. HE ALSO SENDS A LOT OF HIS STUDENTS SOUTH TO BEGIN BUILDING NEW COLLEGES, AND SO, THE RISE OF THE NUMBER OF SOUTHERN COLLEGES, THE SPREAD OF THE ACADEMY IN THE SOUTH, IS VERY MUCH CONNECTED TO THE SORT OF EDUCATIONAL MISSIONARY ACTIVITY OF NORTHERN UNIVERSITIES OFTEN LOOKING FOR MONEY.>>DID THE SONS OF THE SLAVE MERCHANTS TO CAME TO THESE INSTITUTIONS BRING THEIR SLAVES WITH THEM?>>YEAH. AND HERE YOU HAVE, YOU KNOW, A STORY THAT WE KNOW WELL, IN THE SOUTH, AT THE COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY IN VIRGINIA, WHEN THOMAS JEFFERSON IS AN UNDERGRADUATE, HE’S THERE BETWEEN 1760 AND 1762, 10% OF THE BOYS IN THE COLLEGE BRING SLAVES WITH THEM AND PAY ADDITIONAL FEES TO BOARD THE SLAVES ON CAMPUS. THE COLLEGE ITSELF OWNS DOZENS OF PEOPLE –>>LIKE A PRESIDENT.>>THE COLLEGE PRESIDENTS OWNED SLAVES, THE COLLEGES OWNED SLAVES. IN THE NORTH, IT’S ACTUALLY HARDER TO FIND EXAMPLES OF STUDENTS BRINGING SLAVES TO CAMPUS WITH THEM. AT PRINCETON FOR INSTANCE, WE KNOW THAT THE FIRST EIGHT PRESIDENTS OWNED SLAVES. IT’S NOT CLEAR THAT THE STUDENTS ARE BRINGING SLAVES TO CAMPUS. WE KNOW THAT AT KINGS COLLEGE, THIS DOES HAPPEN, KINGS COLLEGE IS NOW COLUMBIA. GEORGE WASHINGTON ARRIVES WITH HIS SON JACKY CUSTUS HIS STEPSON AND HIS SLAVE, JOE AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE KINGS COLLEGE ACTUALLY GIVES JACKY A SUITE OF ROOMS WHICH JOE GETS PREPARED, PAINTED AND PAPERED, AND ONE OF THE WINDOWLESS ROOMS IS ACTUALLY USED AS JOE’S BEDROOM, SO JOE ACTUALLY LIVES ON CAMPUS AS THE SLAVE OF A STUDENT. DURING JACKY CUSTUS’ TENURE AT COLUMBIA.>>SLAVES WERE WORKING AT THE INSTITUTIONS TOO?>>YES.>>THE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT, THAT IS FASCINATING TO ME, THESE ARE PROBABLY MEN WHO CONSIDER THEMSELVES ENLIGHTENED. DID THEY ATTEMPT TO CONVINCE THEMSELVES THAT SOMEHOW THIS WAS A MORE HUMANE SERVITUDE, A MORE SUBTLE SERVITUDE THAN WHAT IT MORE TRADITIONALLY THOUGHT OF AS SLAVERY.>>THEY ATTEMPTED TO CONVINCE THEMSELVES THAT IT WAS MORE HUMANE. THEY ATTEMPTED TO CONVINCE THEMSELVES THAT IT WAS BIBLICALLY FOUNDED.>>LARGE PART OF THIS WHOLE DISCUSSION, IS IT NOT?>>YES, IT’S CRITICAL TO IT. BUT BIBLICALLY FOUNDED MEANS THAT THEY IN FACT OFTEN INSISTED UPON THE PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT OF SLAVES, AND INCLUDING THE BEATING OF SLAVES. AND SO BENJAMIN WADSWORTH, ONE OF THE EARLY PRESIDENTS OF HARVARD, GIVES A SERMON WHEN HE’S A MINISTER IN BOSTON, REMINDING THE CONGREGATION IT’S THEIR BIBLICAL DUTY TO BEAT THEIR SERVANTS, THAT SERVANTS ARE NOT CORRECTED BY WORDS ALONE AND THEY HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO BEAT. WADSWORTH COMES TO HARVARD, TO THE PRESIDENCY, WITH HIS SLAVE TYPHUS AND PURCHASES OTHER SLAVES WHILE HE’S IN THE PRESIDENCY, SO HE’S ONE OF A LONG LINE OF COLLEGE PRESIDENTS, WHO OWNS SLAVES. ELEAZER WHEELOCK AFTER HE GETS HIS CHARTER IN 1769 ARRIVES WITH EIGHT ENSLAVED BLACK PEOPLE, SEVEN ADULTS AND A BLACK CHILD. HE HAS MORE SLAVES THAN FACULTY, MORE SLAVES THAN TRUSTEES, AND PROBABLY HAS MORE SLAVES THAN STUDENTS. THE LARGEST POPULATION OF PEOPLE ON THE EARLY DARTMOUTH CAMPUS ARE THE SLAVES AND WHEELOCK ALSO WE KNOW ON AT LEAST ONE OCCASION, HE HAS THE SHERIFF COME TO THE CAMPUS FOR THE PURPOSE OF EITHER BEATING OR THREATENING HIS SLAVE WITH A BEATING.>>LET ME FOLLOW UP ON THAT POINT, BECAUSE THIS WAS A VERY INTERESTING ASPECT OF THE BOOK FOR ME. I THINK MANY PEOPLE TEND TO THINK OF OUR COLONIAL PAST AS A VERY WHITE PAST. AND YET IN THE BOOK, YOU WRITE THAT THE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE BROUGHT HERE FROM AFRICA, OR FROM THE WEST INDIES, THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE HERE WAS VERY LARGE, MANY BLACK FACES AMONGST THE COLONIES IN THE 1700’S.>>YEAH. AND SO YOU HAVE, YOU KNOW, IN NEW ENGLAND, YOU KNOW, IN BOSTON, AND CAMBRIDGE, WHERE HARVARD IS, ABOUT PROBABLY 10% OF THE POPULATION IS BLACK, BY THE 1750’S. IN NEW YORK, BY THE MANHATTAN, BY THE EARLY 18th CENTURY, THE EARLY 1700’S, ONE OUT OF EVERY FIVE PEOPLE IS AN ENSLAVED AFRICAN AND IN BROOKLYN, ONE OUT OF THREE, SO THESE EXTRAORDINARILY BLACK POPULATIONS, LARGE BLACK POPULATIONS WITHIN THE COLONIAL WORLD AND WHAT’S STRIKING ABOUT THEM IS THE DIFFERENCE, THE DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSFORMATION TAKING PLACE WHEN YOU BEGIN TO COMPARE THE BLACK POPULATION TO THE NATIVE POPULATION. THERE’S A HORRIFIC DECLINE IN THE NATIVE POPULATION OVER THAT TWO CENTURY PERIOD. BY THE MIDDLE OF THE 18th 18th CENTURY, BY THE 1750’S, THERE ARE MORE BLACK PEOPLE ENSLAVED IN THE 13 COLONIES THAN THERE ARE NATIVE AMERICANS EVERYWHERE EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. AND WITHIN A HALF CENTURY, THE BLACK POPULATION OF THE NEW UNITED STATES IS GOING TO OUTNUMBER THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF NATIVE PEOPLE. IN ALL OF THE REGIONS THAT ARE NOW THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. IT’S A STUNNING TRANSFORMATION OF POPULATION AND IN THE BOOK, ONE OF THE THINGS I TRY TO DO IS TO REALLY POINT OUT THE WAY IN WHICH COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES PARTICIPATED IN THOSE STRIKING TRANSFORMATIONS OF THE DEMOGRAPHIC MAKEUP OF THE AMERICAS.>>HE WANTS TO SHIFT TO ONE OF THE OTHER THEMES OF THIS BOOK, AND I FOUND THIS TO BE AS DISTURBING AS ANYTHING IN THE ENTIRE BOOK, AND THAT IS, THE INVOLVEMENT OF UNIVERSITIES IN THE PERPETUATION OF RACIAL SCIENCE. AND LET’S BEGIN WITH HOW YOU WOULD DEFINE RACIAL SCIENCE. WHAT WAS IT?>>RACIAL SCIENCE IS IN MANY WAYS THE SEARCH FOR EVIDENCE OF AND PROOF OF THE EXISTENCE OF RACE. THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCT THAT WE OFTEN TALK ABOUT. A BODY OF IDEAS THAT EMERGED IN THE COLONIAL WORLD. AND IN EUROPE. IN THE 17th AND 18th 18th CENTURY. AND EMERGED IN PART AS A DEFENSE OF COLONIALISM, CONQUEST AND SLAVERY. THE ACADEMY THAT BECOMES THE SITE FOR REFINING THOSE IDEAS AND GIVING THEM AN INTELLECTUAL VENEER AND SO RACE AND SCIENCE IS THE PURSUIT OF PROOF, PROOF THAT RACE EXISTS AND THE AMERICAN ACADEMY BECOMES KEY IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF A RACIAL SCIENCE THAT WILL CONTINUE TO HAUNT HUMANITY, WELL INTO THE 20th CENTURY. THAT BEGINS IN THE 18th 18th CENTURY, THAT PURSUIT, AND MUCH OF IT ACTUALLY TAKES PLACE HERE IN THE AMERICAS.>>IT IS AT TIMES A GHOULISH DISCUSSION OF WHAT WAS DONE IN THIS EFFORT TO PROVE THAT ONE RACE WAS SUPERIOR TO ANOTHER. GIVE US SOME EXAMPLES OF WHAT YOU FOUND IN TERMS OF WHAT WAS BEING DONE IN ORDER TO PROVE THIS SCIENCE?>>WHEN THOMAS JEFFERSON WRITES, HIS FAMOUS PUBLICATION, ANSWERING A SERIES OF QUESTIONS FROM HIS EUROPEAN FRIENDS BEING ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HE PRAISE FOR IS THAT THE SUBJECT OF RACE ACTUALLY BE SUBMITTED TO SCIENCE, THAT SCIENCE ACTUALLY BE USED TO ESTABLISH FIRMLY THE QUALITIES OF THE RACES THAT HE KNOWS EXIST. AND HE HAS A FAMOUS QUOTE ABOUT SUBMITTING IT TO THE LOOKING GLASS, THE ANATOMICAL KNIFE BY FIRE AND BY SOLVENTS. IN FACT, THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE MOMENT THAT HE’S PRAYING FOR THAT ACTIVITY. ELEAZER WHEELOCK, THE FOUNDER OF DARTMOUTH, HIS PERSONAL PHYSICIAN TAKES THE BODY AN SLAVED BLACK MAN NAMED CADO, A CORPSE, AND DRAGS IT BEHIND HIS HOUSE. HE REMOVES ETC. ENTIRE SKIN OF THIS MAN AND BOILS THE BODY IN A KETTLE, HE THEN WIRES THE BONES TOGETHER FOR INSTRUCTIONAL PURPOSES SO HE CAN USE THEM FOR INSTRUCTION. HE TAKES THE SKIN, CATO’S SKIN AND BRINGS IT TO THE LEATHER TANNER WHO SERVICES THE COLLEGE AND HAS IT TANNED SO HE CAN USE IT TO DRESS HIS INSTRUMENT CASE. THE RISE OF THE SCIENCE IN THE AMERICAS, THE RISE OF THE MEDICAL SCIENCES IN THE HUMAN SCIENCES IS IMMEDIATELY INSCRIBED ON THE POOR, THE ENSLAVED AND THE INVOLUNTARY VICTIMS OF THE RISE OF SCIENCE ARE OFTEN IN FACT DRAWN FROM THOSE CLASSES. IT’S ENSLAVED PEOPLE IN THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH, NATIVE AMERICANS, THERE’S AN ATLANTIC INDUSTRY IN THE, YOU KNOW, THE COMMERCE, IN NATIVE AMERICAN BONES AND NATIVE AMERICAN BODY PARTS. JEFFERSON DOES IT, IN VIRGINIA, HE WRITES ABOUT TAKING HIS SLAVES WITH HIM TO THE OLD INDIAN BURIAL GROUNDS AND BREAKING INTO GRAVES TO FIND BONES TO SEND TO RESEARCHERS IN EUROPE, SO THEY CAN BE STUDIED. IT’S NATIVE AMERICANS, FOR — AFRICANS AND OTHER MARGINALIZED PEOPLE, OFTEN THE IRISH, WHO GET VOLUNTEERED TO THIS KIND OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN, THEIR BODIES GET CONSUMED IN THE RISE OF SCIENCE.>>GRAVE ROBBING.>>GRAVE ROBBING,.>>WHERE SLAVES WERE BURIED IN CEMETERIES, BODIES TAKEN TO BE USED FOR SCIENCE.>>RIGHT. WE HAVE AN EXAMPLE OF THIS RIGHT IN NEW YORK, WHERE KINGS COLLEGE WAS NOW COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, ESTABLISHES THE SECOND MEDICAL SCHOOL IN THE COLONIES. THE FIRST ONE IS ESTABLISHED AT THE COLLEGE OF PHILADELPHIA, WHICH IS NOW THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA. THE PENN COLLEGE, MEDICAL COLLEGE BEGINS WHEN THE COLONY TRANSFERS TO THE NEW MEDICAL STUDENTS, WHO HAVE JUST GRADUATED FROM MEDICAL SCHOOL IN SCOTLAND, THEY ARE AMERICANS WHO HAVE GONE TO SCOTLAND TO STUDY AND COME BACK WITH THE PLAN TO BUILD A MEDICAL SCHOOL. IT BEGINS WHEN THESE COLONY TRANSFERS TO THEM THE BODY OF A DECEASED NEGRO, SO THEY CAN DO PUBLIC DISSECTIONS AND SHOW IN FACT, THE POWER OF ANATOMY AND MEDICAL SCIENCE. THE COLUMBIA PROGRAM BEGINS IN MUCH THE SAME WAY, WITH THE CONSUMPTION OF BLACK BODIES. IN FACT, ACTUALLY KINGS COLLEGE RENTS ITS MEDICAL LABS AND ROOMS IN NEW YORK HOSPITAL, AND NEW YORK HOSPITAL IN THE COLONIAL PERIOD IS DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE NEGRO’S BURIAL GROUND IN MANHATTAN, SO THE MEDICAL STUDENTS AND THE TRACK ACTUALITY PREY UPON THE BODIES OF THE ENSLAVED DIRECTLY. THEY HAVE A DIRECT ACROSS THE STREET COMMERCE IN ENSLAVED PEOPLE’S BODIES FOR THE SAKE OF PRODUCING SCIENCE.>>AS WE MOVE INTO THE 1800’S, THERE ARE SOME, AND SOME PEOPLE AT UNIVERSITIES, WHO BEGIN TO TALK MUCH MORE ABOUT ABOLITION. AND YET YOU WRITE IN THE BOOK THAT THE ACADEMY, HIGHER EDUCATION, WAS A BOISTEROUS LOBBY AGAINST ABOLITIONISM. WHY IS THAT?>>I THINK PART OF WHAT’S STRIKING ABOUT THE STORY IS WE OFTEN USE ABOLITIONISM RATION THE FEEL-GOOD MOMENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY. IT’S THE MOMENT WHERE WE ALL GET REDEEMED, BUT I THINK THERE ARE TWO THINGS WE HAVE TO REMIND OURSELVES OF. FIRST ANTI-SLAVERY EMERGES WITH SLAVERY. AS SOON AS WE BEGIN ENSLAVING PEOPLE IN THE MODERN ERA, ANTI-SLAVERY PROTESTS EMERGE. THEY’RE THERE ALL THE TIME AND THEY’RE OFFER THERE ON CAMPUS. WHAT HAPPENS IN THE 19th 19th CENTURY WITH THE RISE OF THE MODERN ABOLITIONIST MOVEMENT AND MORE VIGOROUS MOVEMENT TO DESTROY SLAVERY IN THE UNITED STATES, IS IT THE ACADEMY GOES — IS THE ACADEMY GOES THROUGH A PERIOD OF CRISIS. THERE HAVE BEEN ANTI-SLAVERY DISCUSSIONS ON CAMPUS, THEY’VE BEEN THERE FOR GENERATIONS. AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, AN ANTI-SLAVERY SPEAKER IS ACTUALLY INVITED TO GIVE THE COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS AND THE TRUSTEE HAS ACTUALLY PUBLISHED THE ADDRESS. AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, SOME OF THE FRATERNITIES DEBATE SLAVERY AND ONE DECIDES THAT SLAVERY IS MORALLY WRONG AT GEORGIA. AND THERE’S ANTI-SLAVERY DEBATE ON THE NORTHERN CAMPUSES, BUT WHAT HAPPENS IN THE 1830’S AND 1840’S IS THE AMERICAN ACADEMY BECOMES HEAVILY INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT OF ATTEMPTING TO FIND A COMMON GROUND BETWEEN THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH. AND SOLVE THE POLITICAL CRISIS BETWEEN THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH AND PART OF THE COMMON GROUND THAT GETS ARTICULATED AND BECOMES PARTICULARLY POPULAR IN THE 1830’S, IS THAT THEY SHARE A POLITICAL SPACE IN THAT BOTH REGIONS OPPOSE BLACK PEOPLE. THAT WHILE BLACK PEOPLE ARE NECESSARY IN THE SOUTH, AS THE UNFREE LABOR FORCE OF THE SOUTHERN ECONOMY, THEY’RE NOT NECESSARY NECESSARY AND THEY’RE NOT WANTED IN THE NORTH, SO CAMPAIGNS TO REMOVE THEM AND TO TAKE THE FREE BLACK POPULATION AND PUT THEM SOMEPLACE OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, BECOME EXTRAORDINARILY POPULAR ON CAMPUS.>>COLONIZATION.>>COLONIZATION. ACADEMICS ARE OVERREPRESENTED IN THE COLONIZATION MOVEMENT. AT THE HEIGHT OF THE COLONIZATION POWERS THE ACS IS THE ORGANIZATION LOOKING TO REMOVE FREE BLACK PEOPLE TO SOMEPLACE OUTSIDE. THEY EVENTUALLY SETTLE UPON LIBERIA AND THE ACS COMES UP WITH THAT NAME FOR THE SITE ON THE WEST AFRICAN COAST. AT THE HEIGHT OF ITS INFLUENCE, THE PRESIDENT OF THE COLONIZATION SOCIETY, THE FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, JAMES MADISON, AND HIS VICE-PRESIDENT, IS THE PRESIDENT OF YALE UNIVERSITY, THE REVEREND JEREMIAH DAY, AT EVERY LEVEL OF THE SOCIETY, ACADEMICS ARE OVERREPRESENTED BECAUSE IT’S AN ACADEMIC MOVEMENT. IT’S A MOVEMENT THAT USES RACE AND RACE SCIENCE TO ARGUE FOR A FUTURE, A VISION OF THE UNITED STATES THAT’S RACIALLY AND RELIGIOUSLY CLEANSED.>>I WANT TO BRING THIS FULL CIRCLE AND ASK YOU ABOUT THE REACTION YOU HAVE RECEIVED FROM PEOPLE IN HIGHER EDUCATION FROM THE ACADEMY. THIS IS NOT A PLEASANT STORY TO TELL. HOW HAS IT BEEN RECEIVED?>>IT’S ACTUALLY BEEN, I THINK, A FAIR RECEPTION AND A GOOD RECEPTION. I THINK WHAT’S HAPPENED IS, YOU KNOW, WE’VE TAKEN OUR FINGERS OUT OF OUR EARS AND WE’VE SHOWN, I THINK, A WILLINGNESS TO AT LEAST LISTEN TO A STORY ABOUT OURSELVES. THAT’S DIFFERENT THAN THE ONE WE PREFER TO TELL. AND SO, YOU KNOW, I’VE BEEN INVITED TO A LOT OF THESE SCHOOLS, I’VE ALREADY BEEN TO PRINCETON AND YOU KNOW, I’LL BE UP AT DARTMOUTH, I’LL BE AT COLUMBIA IN ANOTHER WEEK, AND SO I THINK THE RECEPTION HAS BEEN GOOD. I THINK IT’S TIME NOW THAT WE MOVE THE CONVERSATION FORWARD AND THAT THE UNIVERSITIES TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WRITING A NEW VERSION OF THEIR HISTORY, THAT INCLUDES THIS STORY. AND I THINK THAT’S THE NEXT CHALLENGE. TO REALLY GET US TO EMBRACE THAT PART. SOME UNIVERSITIES ARE DOING IT. AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI, EMORY, WILLIAM & MARY, THERE ARE CAMPUSWIDE PROJECTS WITH THE — UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE PRESIDENTS AND THE TRUSTEES TO REALLY BE HONEST ABOUT THEIR PAST WITH SLAVERY AND WE NEED MORE OF THAT. BECAUSE WE HAVE TO BE A MODEL FOR THE OPEN, HONEST INFORMATION SOCIETY THAT WE TEND TO PROCLAIM OURSELVES TO BE A PART OF.>>MY FINAL QUESTION IS THIS. ARE PEOPLE SURPRISED WHEN THEY HEAR THIS STORY? UNIVERSITIES, I THINK, LIKE TO THINK OF THEMSELVES AS ENLIGHTENED FOLKS AND MAYBE THAT’S A LITTLE POM POST — POMPOUS, ARE PEOPLE SURPRISED?>>I WAS SURPRISED AS I WENT THROUGH THIS, AND I TRIED TO PUT TOGETHER THESE MOUNTAINS OF MATERIAL THAT I WAS CREATING. YEAH, THEY ARE. THEY’RE ABSOLUTELY SURPRISED AND I THINK THAT’S PRECISELY THE REASON WHY I NEEDED TO AND WE NEED TO LOOK AT UNIVERSITIES AS SITES FOR UNDERSTANDING SLAVERY, BECAUSE WHAT YOU WILL ULTIMATELY COME TO UNDERSTAND IS NOT THAT UNIVERSITIES ARE HORRIBLE PLACES, THEY SHOULD BE CONDEMNED AND WE SHOULD SHUN THEM, BUT YOU ACTUALLY COME TO UNDERSTAND THE CENTRALITY OF SLAVERY TO THE RISE OF THE AMERICAN COLONIES AND ULTIMATELY TO THE FOUNDING OF THE UNITED STATES.>>PROFESSOR CRAIG STEVEN WILDER FROM M.I.T. IS THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK “EBONY, IVORY, RACE, AND THE TROUBLE HISTORY OF AMERICA’S UNIVERSITIES.” THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US. I’M MIKE GOUSHA. THIS HAS BEEN “ON THE ISSUES” AND WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME.

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