“The fact that Mr. Hopkins had, at any time in his life, a direct connection to slavery … is a difficult revelation for us”
Does this mean Johns Hopkins University will change its name? Of course not. Like Yale, it’s a brand that’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars, so cancel culture will not apply.
Johns Hopkins University thought its namesake was an abolitionist, but records show he owned enslaved people
The founder and namesake for one of the top medical schools in the nation owned enslaved people in the mid-1800s, Johns Hopkins University leadership announced Wednesday in a letter.
Census records indicate Johns Hopkins owned one enslaved person in 1840 and four in 1850, according to the school. The information came to light via the Hopkins Retrospective, a university effort to deeply explore the institution’s history. Hopkins founded JHU in 1876 and opened the hospital in 1889.
“The fact that Mr. Hopkins had, at any time in his life, a direct connection to slavery … is a difficult revelation for us, as we know it will be for our community, at home and abroad, and most especially our Black faculty, students, staff, and alumni,” the JHU letter read.
The latest revelations shatter what the JHU system previously believed of Hopkins.
“For most of the last century, our institutions believed Johns Hopkins to be an early and staunch abolitionist whose father, a committed Quaker, had freed the family’s enslaved people in 1807,” the school said.
JHU’s announcement comes as the US is coming to terms with its racist past thanks in part to ongoing protests that were sparked over the summer by the police killings of Black people. Schools and companies are reconsidering racist imagery and/or names of people who were connected to slavery.
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