Philadelphia’s legacy of slavery

Listen 48:58

Guests: Kathleen Brown, Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Kenyatta Johnson

In 2016, several major universities founded in the colonial-era opened up about historic connections to slavery. At the time, the University of Pennsylvania released a statement saying it had examined its own past and “found no direct university involvement with slavery or the slave trade.” But this year a group of faculty and students called the Penn Slavery Project released research that 75 of the school’s early trustees, including over 20 of the founding trustees, held slaves or had ties to the slave trade. This hour, we’ll look into the history of slavery at Penn and in Philadelphia and discuss how to best address that history today. We’ll be joined by University of Pennsylvania history and gender studies professor KATHLEEN BROWN, who leads the Penn Slavery Project, and by Rutgers history professor ERICA ARMSTRONG DUNBAR.

We’ll also hear from Philadelphia Councilman KENYATTA JOHNSON about the effort to rename Taney Street. The street, which runs partially through Johnson’s district, is named after former Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who is known for writing the majority opinion of the Dred Scott case.

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