Born Enslaved, Patrick Francis Healy ‘Passed’ His Way to Lead Georgetown University

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, Slavery, United States on 2020-09-11 02:22Z by Steven

Born Enslaved, Patrick Francis Healy ‘Passed’ His Way to Lead Georgetown University

Smithsonian Magazine
2020-09-08

Bryan Greene
Washington, D.C.


Because the 19th-century college president appeared white, he was able to climb the ladder of the Jesuit community

This back-to-school season, as the coronavirus pandemic demands continued social distancing, many college students are logging onto their classes remotely. While the country fights this public health crisis on one front, it fights the ongoing effects of systemic racism on another, and the battle is joined on America’s college campuses, where skyrocketing tuition costs, debates over academic freedom, and reckonings with the legacies of institutional racism come together.

The University of North Carolina, for instance, has had to tackle both crises this summer, as it shuttered dorms and sent students home after Covid-19 cases spiked soon after opening. In July, administrators approved guidelines for renaming buildings that currently honor North Carolinians who promoted the murderous 1898 overthrow of Wilmington’s elected multiracial government. In June, meanwhile, Princeton acceded to longstanding demands to strip Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school, since his most notorious public policy as President of the United States was to segregate the federal workforce. Following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, an ever-widening circle of students on campuses nationwide are re-examining their institutions’ unquestioned genuflection to their white-supremacist heritage.

But at Georgetown University, students, faculty, alumni, and administration have been re-appraising the school’s racist past for years. In 1838, when the Jesuit school was deep in debt, its president, Reverend Thomas F. Mulledy, on behalf of the Maryland Jesuits, sold 272 black men, women and children to Louisiana plantations to keep the school afloat. Three years ago, Georgetown pulled Mulledy’s name off a dormitory, replacing it with the name of enslaved laborer Isaac Hawkins. Georgetown will now consider applicants who are descendants of these enslaved persons in the same light as the children of faculty, staff and alumni for purposes of admission.

What makes Georgetown’s reflective moment most remarkable, however, and complicated, is that 35 years after Mulledy salvaged the school’s finances by selling human property, the school would be led by a man who, himself, was born enslaved. The story of Georgetown president Reverend Patrick Francis Healy reveals how a university built by enslaved persons, and rescued from collapse by the sale of enslaved persons, saw its “second founding” in the late 19th century under the guidance of a man whom the Jesuits knew had been born black but helped “pass” as white

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‘Why am I different?’ Behind this WNBA player’s activism was a search for the answer.

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States, Women on 2019-06-24 19:36Z by Steven

‘Why am I different?’ Behind this WNBA player’s activism was a search for the answer.

The Washington Post
2019-06-22

Ava Wallace


Natasha Cloud in the Mystics’ locker room Friday, when she followed through on a “media blackout” to discuss only gun violence. (Doug Kapustin for The Washington Post)

Some 30 minutes after the Washington Mystics lost to the Seattle Storm on June 14 in Southeast D.C., starting guard Natasha Cloud moved from her seat along the back wall of the Mystics’ locker room to stand at the front, pausing twice to maneuver around various reporters pointing TV cameras and cellphones at her face.

She was not among the Mystics’ leading scorers that night, but she would be their only player to address the media.

Her voice quavering but strong, Cloud, 27, read a prepared statement on behalf of the team rather than answer questions about the game. She followed through on plans she announced the day before on Instagram to hold a “media blackout” to address only gun violence in Washington.

Cloud’s public action came together over little more than 24 hours. But it was the culmination of a long journey, the result of maturation, her increased status with the Mystics since the start of last season and, most importantly, a level of comfort in her own skin that took years to achieve.

“This is my fifth year in the league, and it took me five years to be like, I know something’s wrong, but how do I use my voice? What is my voice? Who am I to speak on the situation?” Cloud said. “You know, I didn’t grow up that way. I grew up in a privileged, white family. How do I correlate that?”…

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The interracial love story that stunned Washington — twice! — in 1867

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2019-02-15 20:32Z by Steven

The interracial love story that stunned Washington — twice! — in 1867

The Washington Post
2019-02-13

Jessica Contrera


Eli S. Parker, a Seneca Indian who worked for Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, was engaged to Minnie Sackett, a young white woman, in 1867. (The History Collection/Alamy) (The History Collection/Alamy Stock Photo/The History Collection/Alamy Stock Photo)

When Ely Parker married Minnie Sackett, “the creme de la creme of Washington society” came to gawk

The wedding was a shock before it even began. In 1867, the nation’s capital learned that Minnie Sackett, the daughter of a prominent Civil War colonel, was engaged. Sackett was considered to be “one of the most beautiful women in the District,” according to the New York Tribune, with her high-neck lace collars and brunette ringlets piled atop her head.

Her soon-to-be husband, 39-year-old Ely S. Parker, had served in the Union Army as the private secretary to then-Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. It was Parker who drafted the terms of surrender that ended the war in 1865. So close was their friendship that Grant himself planned to escort the bride, whose father had died, down the aisle at Washington’s Episcopal Church of the Epiphany.

Why was their betrothal controversial? “It may not be generally known that Col. Parker is a full-blooded Indian,” the Tribune reported. “A near relative to the famous Red Jacket and of the present Chief of the six nations Cherokees.”

One hundred years before the Supreme Court would make interracial marriage legal throughout the country, a white woman was marrying an Indian man…

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The Lovings’ Marriage License Is Now On Display At D.C. Court

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2016-11-04 14:53Z by Steven

The Lovings’ Marriage License Is Now On Display At D.C. Court

DCist
Washington, D.C.
2016-08-31

Rachel Kurzius


Photo courtesy of D.C. Courts.

D.C. Superior Courthttp://dccourts.gov/internet/superior/main.jsf—not usually a stop for tourists looking for the kinds of historic documents found in the Smithsonian museums. Now, though, the court’s marriage bureau is displaying a collection of seven notable marriage applications, according to a D.C. Courts Facebook post.

The most significant is that of Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter, an interracial couple from Virginia who married in D.C. because anti-miscegenation laws made their union illegal in their home state. They were arrested and charged with violating the Racial Integrity Act when they returned to Virginia…

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