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Northeastern research team to study Boston’s legacy of slavery

Huntington News, February 2024

Research teams from Northeastern University and Tufts University attended a Boston Task Force on Reparations meeting Feb. 6 to announce their research partnership examining Boston’s history and legacy of slavery. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu first announced the research teams Jan. 24 to document the city of Boston’s “role in and ties to the transatlantic slave trade and institution of slavery.” Northeastern’s team, which will examine the legacy of slavery after 1940, is headed by Margaret Burnham, a university distinguished professor of law and director of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, and Deborah Jackson, managing director of the Center for Law, Equity and Race. “Our concern will be to surface practices and policies, official and unofficial, of the city itself that contributed to the conditions, lived experiences and disadvantages experienced by African Americans who are residents of the city,” Burnham said at the meeting. “Our investigation will be quite focused on what the city didn’t do to fully recognize the humanity and contributions of African Americans to the city.”

Northeastern’s research team also includes Ted Landsmark, distinguished professor of public policy and urban affairs; Donna Bivens, community leader and vice president of the Colored Girls Museum; and Richard O’Bryant, director of the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute. The team will focus on the lasting impact of slavery in the Boston Police Department, fire department, housing authority and public schools after 1940. 

Continue reading at the Huntington News.

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