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Descendants of Slaves Who Built SLU Demand $74B in Reparations

via St. Louis University
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Descendants of slaves who helped build St. Louis University from 1823 to 1865 are demanding $74 billion in reparations, far exceeding the university’s $1.5 billion endowment.

An economist calculated the sum using standard methods for the unpaid labor of 70 slaves.

“The calculations that we came up with and the method that we used,” economist Julianne Malveaux said. “Are time-honored methods. The university, quite frankly, is overdue, negligent, and wrong.”

Advocates including a civil rights lawyer have formally approached the university seeking acknowledgment and compensation.

While SLU expressed regret for its participation in slavery and slow progress reconciling this history, it did not commit to reparations.

“Participation in the institution of slavery was a grave sin. We acknowledge that progress on our efforts to reconcile with this shameful history has been slow, and we regret the hurt and frustration this has caused,” SLU stated.

The university hopes to build relationships with descendant families to honor the enslaved individuals’ memory.

“Continuing this work is a priority for SLU and the Society of Jesus. As we move forward, we hope to re-establish and build deeper relationships with all descendant families, to explore together how best to honor the memory of those who were enslaved by the Jesuits.”

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