GOOD

After Learning Her Family Was Enslaved By Georgetown University, A 63-Year-Old Woman Is In The Freshman Class

"I’m going to be the oldest not-18-year-old ... to ever be a part of a freshman class."

Image by Dave Wilson/Flickr.

In the early 1800s, Georgetown University relied on Jesuit plantations in Maryland to help finance its operations. In 1838, the Jesuit priests who ran the institution decided to sell 272 of its slaves to Louisiana to finance the floundering university’s future. The sale earned the university $3.3 million in today’s dollars and was organized by two Georgetown’s early presidents. Today, the university is apologizing for its original sin by reaching out to the descendants of the 272 slaves.


In April, Georgetown offered a formal apology to the descendants, and over 100 attended a vigil and dinner at the school. The university also announced it would name one of its buildings after Isaac Hawkins, the first enslaved person listed on the 1838 sales docket. It changed the name of two buildings that had been named after former presidents who were involved in the sale to Freedom and Remembrance halls in order to commemorate those it enslaved.

The school also announced it was giving legacy status to descendants of the 272 slaves. One of the first to be admitted under Georgetown’s new policy is 63-year-old New Orleans chef Meli Short-Colomb. This fall, she’s leaving her job to move into the dorms. She hopes to graduate in 2021. “I’m going to be the oldest not-18-year-old ... to ever be a part of a freshman class at Georgetown University,” she told APM Reports’ Kate Ellis. Georgetown has agreed to cover her room, board, and tuition.

It all began when she received an email from a geneticist who told Short-Colomb that her three-time great-grandparents were part of the sale. After considering the pain inflicted on her family by the university, she was “hurt and angry” and “disappointed.” While other descendants thought about sending their children or grandchildren to the university, Short-Colomb pictured herself there. When she learned she was admitted to the school in June, she broke down in tears. “For Georgetown to do this, it was special and it does mean something and I feel I have been touched by grace,” she said.

Education
via The Hill / Twitter

President Trump's appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland was a mixed bag.

The theme of the event was climate change, but Trump chose to use his 30 minutes of speaking time to brag about the "spectacular" U.S. economy and encouraged world leaders to invest in America.

He didn't mention climate change once.

Keep Reading
The Planet
via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading
Communities

The Australian bushfires have claimed 27 human lives, an estimated 1 billion animals are feared dead, and thousands of properties have been completely decimated.

The fires were caused by extreme heat and dryness, the result of 2019 being the country's hottest year on record, with average temperatures 1.52C above the 1961-1990 average.

The area hit hardest by the fires, New South Wales, also had its hottest year on record, with temperatures rising 1.95C above average.

Keep Reading
The Planet