News

Georgetown’s story is, in many ways, representative of our nation’s story.

Through media, collaboration with colleagues in higher education and other avenues of public discourse, we have been a part of explorations of this history on a national level.

Local and national media have also provided important avenues for public discourse. Since 2015, numerous media outlets have covered Georgetown University’s ties with slavery and the institution’s ongoing efforts to better understand and engage this history.

Please note some news sites require subscriptions to their coverage. 

The New York Times (Rachel Swarns)

A Glimpse Into the Life of a Slave Sold to Save Georgetown

March 12, 2017

The Arlington Catholic Herald (Elizabeth A. Elliott)

Jesuit Fr. Collins grapples with legacy of slavery at Georgetown

October 26, 2016

The New York Times (Nicholas Fandos)

At 2 Georgetown Cemeteries, History in Black and White

October 20, 2016

Crux Now (Mark Zimmerman)

Georgetown Panel Grapples with Ugly Legacy of Slaveholding

October 17, 2016

The Hoya (Yasmine Salam)

Jewish Community Looks to 272

October 14, 2016

The Enterprise: Southern Maryland (Rick Boyd)

Many in Slave Sale Cited by Georgetown Toiled in Southern Maryland

September 30, 2016

Ebony Magazine (Marcia Chatelain)

Georgetown Analyses Some Uncomfortable Truths

September 6, 2016

Glamour Magazine (Jessica Militare)

Why Georgetown’s Announcement About Its Slavery Past Matters

September 1, 2016

The Advocate (Terry Jones)

Making amends: Georgetown president meets with descendants of slaves sold to Louisiana plantations

July 11, 2016

Georgetown President John J. DeGioia meets with descendants of the 1838 sale in Louisiana.

CBS News (Michelle Miller)

Georgetown University confronts its history with slavery

July 11, 2016

Alumnus Richard Cellini, who runs the Georgetown Memory Project, has contacted descendants as Georgetown tries to grapple with its history.

The Advocate (Terry Jones)

Louisiana families dig into their history, find they are descendants of slaves sold by Georgetown University

June 19, 2016

Families in Maringouin, Louisiana, discover that they are descendants of some of those sold in the 1838 sale of 272 slaves.

The New York Times (Rachel Swarns)

Moving to Make Amends, Georgetown President Meets With Descendant of Slaves

June 14, 2016

President DeGioia met with the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society and Patricia Bayonne-Johnson, one of the descendants of Biby Butler (who was sold in the 1838 sale).

The Spokane Review (Kip Hill)

Georgetown president, descendant of college’s sold slaves meet in Spokane

June 13, 2016

Georgetown President John J. DeGioia traveled to Washington state to meet with the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society and Patricia Bayonne-Johnson.

The New York Times

Editorial: Where Does Georgetown Start? By Listening

June 3, 2016

The New York Times Editorial Board talks to some of the descendants of those sold to link the 1838 sale to the present.

The Spokane Review (Kip Hill)

Genealogical society pieces together history of Georgetown University slaves

May 11, 2016

The Eastern Washington Genealogical Society’s Patricia Bayonne-Johnson’s family history includes one of the slaves sold in the 1838 sale of 272 slaves.

KSLA (Louisiana)

Sold to Save Georgetown

May 3, 2016

Maxine Crump, one of the descendants of the 272, features in this Louisiana-based story about the slave sale.

The Hoya (Matthew Quallen)

Beyond the 272 Sold in 1838, Plotting the National Diaspora of Jesuit-Owned Slaves

April 29, 2016

Matthew Quallen (SFS’16), a member of the Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation, writes about the history of Jesuit slaveholding in one of Georgetown’s student newspapers.

National Catholic Reporter (Maureen Fielder)

Editorial: Georgetown University and a legacy of slavery

April 25, 2016

A Georgetown alumna comments on Jesuit slaveholding and moves the university had made (and may make) to appropriately reconcile and memorialize its history.

The Guardian (Jamiles Lartey)

Editorial: Georgetown traded in slaves? Of course it did. That was America

April 21, 2016

Lartey connects the legacy of slaveholding in the mid-Atlantic region by Jesuits and Georgetown University with the lack of reconciliation by the nation and its institutions writ large.

The Diane Rehm Show

How Georgetown University Once Relied On The Slave Trade And New Efforts To Reconcile With Its Past

April 19, 2016

Guests Adam Goodheart (director of Washington College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and author of “1861: The Civil War Awakening”), Dr. Craig Steven Wilder (professor of American history, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; author of “Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery and the Troubled History of America’s Universities”), Rachel Swarns (Metro columnist, The New York Times) and Dr. Adam Rothman (associate professor of history, Georgetown University) discuss the 1838 sale and how the school should reconcile with its past.

The Georgetowner (Juliana Zovak)

Georgetown Professor Speaks About University’s History With Slavery

April 18, 2016

Dr. Adam Rothman, a member of Georgetown University’s Working Group on Slavery, Memory & Reconciliation, spoke in Lauinger Library today, April 18, about the university’s history in connection with the Jesuits’ sale of 272 slaves in 1838.

The New York Times (Rachel Swarns)

272 Slaves Were Sold to Save Georgetown. What Does It Owe Their Descendants?

April 16, 2016

Georgetown University’s Working Group on Slavery, Memory & Reconciliation, and others grapple with the legacy of the sale of 272 enslaved people in 1838 and what may be owed to the descendants.