Government wants reparations from Harvard University

Prime Minister Gaston Browne (OBSERVER media photo)

By Latrishka Thomas

“We consider Harvard’s failure to acknowledge its obligations to Antigua and the stain it bears from benefiting from the blood of its people, as shocking if not immoral.”

These are the sentiments embedded in a recent letter written by Prime Minister Gaston Browne which was addressed to the President of Harvard University, Dr Lawrence Bacow, in which Browne is demanding that Harvard University pays reparations to the twin island state for the benefits it derived from Antiguan slaves.

In a letter dated October 30th, Browne argued that the law school continues to remain silent despite having received correspondence from the Government’s Ambassador to the United States, Sir Ronald Sanders almost a year ago.

In that letter from November 26th 2018, the government highlighted the fact that Harvard could not exist without the labour of the country’s people since it was “a bequest of Isaac Royall Jr

[wealthy Antiguan plantation owner]

to Harvard College in 1781 that was used to create the first endowed professorship of law in 1815, leading to the establishment of the Harvard Law School.”

In the strongly worded missive sent just last month, Browne said that the “reparation from Harvard would compensate for its development on the backs of our people”.

Read more in today’s newspaper