tv Georgetown University Dedicates Campus Building to Slaves Sold in 1838 CSPAN April 18, 2017 5:18pm-6:02pm EDT
10:30 a.m. eastern on c-span2. today, georgetown university held a ceremony to wreck -- mark the renaming of two campus buildings, one for isaac caulkins, one of 272 enslaved people sold in 1838 by the maryland province of jesuits to pay off debts. and the other for anne-marie bee craft who at 20 -- who in established a school for black girls in georgetown. >> all right, everybody. thank you, phil.
i want to thank you and welcome you to georgetown university where we are gathered and behind me is isaac hawkins hall. [cheers and applause] >> right there. which we are here to dedicate along with the oldest building on our campus located a short walk from here around the corner of this building. i wish to offer a special welcome to the members of our descending community who are present this afternoon, some traveling a great distance to be here for the state to my day which includes this dedication, our liturgy of remembrance contrition and hope which concluded a few moments ago
upstairs and gaston hall. some of the special gatherings this evening. it want to welcome all of you, especially members of the hawkins family and all the extended members of your family. we are grateful and honored by your presence and by the efforts of so many around our nation to share in these events with us online and in gatherings at southern university in new orleans and baton rouge, we want to thank you all. we want to thank you all for being part of this very special day. i would also like to welcome our neighbors from around the city, i want to thank you for being with us as our city commemorates emancipation day here in the district of columbia. i would like to introduce and welcome our speakers this afternoon, we are grateful to have members of our community
and working group on slavery and reconciliation and our jesuit community here to offer reflections to each of our speakers. members of the georgetown class of 2017 and our working group, mrs. karen harper royal, executive director of the descendent's association and a member of the queen and mahoney and hawkins and butler family lines by marriage. chaplin, aarcia member of our working group. tilson, a member of the family lines and reverend joseph lingham. i want to thank all of you for joining us and i look forward to your reflections that each of you will share with us in this ceremony.
and to our choir, the sounds of , directed by mr. phillip carter who directs our gospel choir in georgetown. i want to thank you for your performance this morning and for leading us a little bit later in our closing song for this event, "lift every voice and sing." it is now my privilege to ourome to the podium speakers who will begin our program. >> thank you. thank you to all of you for being here today. honored to be will to speak as student members of the working group on slavery memory
and reconciliation. as my fellow working group member once said, our work as a group was to help tear down the walls, the walls of mystery and silence and unknown surrounding georgetown's historical ties to the institution of slavery. but beyond telling down the walls, we wanted to help bring this history directly to our community in georgetown. for those of us on the working group, this was important to us. we knew that student knowledge and understanding of georgetown's troubled past was almost euro. well so new, however, -- we also knew that this history has been known and taught and discussed at various points over the past few decades. lead toarly did not sustained knowledge and awareness within our community and student body. how do we properly address that? this was a guiding question for us as students. i am here today and i am very
encouraged to speak at the the halls.of it is a significant step in that direction toward sustaining their awareness and preserving its history within our community. when students present and future come to isaac caulkins, they will come to know georgetown's past. they will come to understand the injustice faced by the men, women, and children who were sold by the society of jesus in maryland, the injustice that georgetown profited from. when students come to know anne marie becraft, they will know hern who was noted for devotion to her stones into her god. they will understand the perseverance she embodied rather -- whether in an type black and anti--catholic discrimination all in educating the girls in her care. oftene recall history, we
draw upon the pieces that are easy. perhaps the most enjoyable to remember. when students discuss the history associated with the current buildings in georgetown and fromunt huey hall, this day forward i'm hopeful this election -- and that the collection will include new pieces and students recall the history of isaac hawkins and anne marie becraft. the lives of isaac hawkins and anne marie becraft remind us as such. if there is one thing i have learned during my time here, it is that georgetown students are at their best wind things are challenging. -- when things are challenging. these buildings are appropriate symbols moke -- of memorialized history. a hope they stand as constant challenges to all future students, a challenge to confront difficult history and is a challenge to stand up to lingering injustice that remains
in our world today. we may not be able to change the past, but in understanding our history, we come to understand the role we have to play in the promotion of justice in our world today. isaac caulkins and anne marie becraft will forever serve as reminders of that role and that challenge. thank you. [applause] >> in my remarks at the ceremony and november 2015, replacing the original names of these outings with freedom and remembrance, i close my comments with the reminder that we are all the authors of georgetown's future. proud tos later, i am -- one year later, i am proud to say that the georgetown committee has deeply injured -- ofaged from a variety
perspectives. from dorm room discussions and personal introspection to creating thoughtful performances , student across campus have engaged through the deeper questions on our proper role as members of the georgetown community. but today, we remember two of the early members in the story of this hilltop. today we are here to permanently -- ande isaac hawkins hall.arie becraft to dust that was built with forced labor of human withs -- it was built forced labor of human beings that were referred to simply his hands. i've remember -- hope your member the bravery and perseverance and anne marie ofraft -- -- perseverance
and isaac becraft hawkins. a part of their lives. legacy continues to be present. this understanding should inform the reconciliatory actions we take in this community to ensure that the ideals of justice and access are equally attainable to and all ofents humanity. [applause] >> good afternoon. i want to thank god for this absolutely beautiful day. you for inviting the
descendents to be part of this program and thank you to the man for giving a few of our descendents an opportunity to share a little louisiana with you. i am honored to be here representing the ancestors, my family, and the descendents association for the rededication of freedom hall and remembrance hall. twoescendents of the hundred 72 enslaved men, women, and children who were sold by the jesuits of georgetown university, we come to honor our and isaacie becraft hawkins and enslaved people everywhere. we know that we stand on the shoulders of giants and of those who came before us. we know that this is the
beginning of a journey for many of us, a journey that we have been on for 200 years. a journey to show respect to those who were in slaved -- in slaved -- enslaved. this movement came from the youth. this has defined as in way that we may not have defined ourselves because it was students from georgetown that led georgetown to recognize that more needed to be done than simply acknowledging their history with slavery. the action of students have placed all of us on a student -- on a journey together to honor our enslaved ancestors i working toward healing and reconciliation. this has that could not happen -- could happen at any time but it is happening now. the youth of our country are standing up to the injustices they are witnessing in their
communities and campuses. we think the students of georgetown today because of their actions. two buildings that were named -- ancestors and slave -- renamed.amed the renaming of these buildings as part of the reconciliation process is a step in the right direction toward healing a painful past just as a few other colleges and universities have done by recognizing the enslaved and very visible ways on their campuses. universities like georgetown all have the opportunity to collaborate regarding their influences on all of us -- our systems whether it is government, political, religious, or educational as they train young man's for leadership -- young minds for leadership.
they help define our future, moving forward with descendents perfectly positioned in georgetown and the maryland shih-tzu it's to be a standardbearer in recognizing and reconciling a stained legacy. our history has shown us that the vestiges of slavery are a continuum that began with the kidnapping of our people from their motherland, keeping them in bondage with the brutality of american chattel slavery, jim crow, segregation, redlining, the school to prison pipeline and the overall incarceration of people of color. these buildings for isaac hawkins and anne marie becraft is the beginning of our journey of healing from the legacy of slavery. just because georgetown is
rewriting history by making amends, it must be responsible for telling its history, for making sure that others understand what truly happened to bring this university into existence and how we can all move forward together by one continuing-- by country an education about slavery, and these buildings will be forever a marker to continue that education. forming linkages with other universities to continue to work toward healing, working with -- i am going to wait a minute and let that pass. other archival entities to preserve and share the rich bounty of documents from the archives, and by working with the descendent community to appear the harm caused the legacy of slavery.
-- repair the harm caused by the legacy of slavery. we will have a better understanding of what america was, what it is, and what it can be. as a representative of the descendents association we look forward to our journey together as members of the georgetown family to reconcile this very painful past. thank you. [applause] >> on behalf of the faculty and staff that have the honor of sitting on the working group on slavery, memory, and reconciliation, i want to thank the families who have traveled to be with us here today. as we continue to deliberate , struggle with, and imagined together the possibility is of georgetown on -- entering a more honest chapter of its life of service to students and the world, let
us consider the words of john hope franklin, we must tell the unvarnished truth. when people ask me about the experience of being a member of the working group, i say that i expected to learn some history, but i will never forget that in this process, in meeting the descendents of isaac hawkins and discovering the good works of anne marie becraft, and in breaking red and worshiping alongside families who have traced their stories to georgetown, and all of these moments, i have learned more about grace than anything else. 2015, months before we gathered, the president of the united states delivered a sermon at the episcopal church, the site of a violent racist tragedy 90's earlier. president obama reflected, agreeing to the christian tradition, grace is not earned, grace is not merited, it is not
something we deserve. rather, grace is the free and benevolent favor of god and manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. grace. as a nation, out of this terrible tragedy, god has visited grace upon us, for he has allowed us to see where we have been blind. he has given us the chance where we have been lost to find our best selves. we may not have earned it, this ande, with our rancor short night -- shortsightedness and fear of each of the row we have it all the same. he gave it to us anyway. he has once more given us grace but it is up to us to make the most of it. to receive it with gratitude and to prove ourselves worthy of this gift. so on this day, i find myself at a loss for words to fully describe what this building dedication means on this campus, in this city, in this historical
moment. i do know this. these buildings will serve as an invitation to all that seek knowledge at georgetown and in learning about isaac hawkins and anne marie becraft, they will find that grace will set us free. toisaac hawkins were here day, if anne marie becraft could see georgetown and travel along the shores of the potomac river in c the city she served, if they could see the roots planted in the memorial trees and the seeds sown in our nation, with they find us worthy of their gift? the road ahead for all of us is long. but today, we rest and we remember and we celebrate. in thinking about this occasion, mayand myself revisiting angelou's poem entitled on the pulse of mourning, delivered at the inauguration of president bill clinton.
of poem provided the history the world and humankind from the perspective of a rock, a river, and a tree. rock, either the tree, i am yours to read your passages have been paid. lift up your faces, you have a piercing need for this right morning donning for you. history, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be on live, and if faced with courage, need not be lived again. .ift up your eyes the day breaking for you. give birth again to the dream. women, children, men, take it into the palm of your hand, mold it into the shape of your most private need. sculpt it into the image of your most private self. lift up your heart. each new our whole new chances for new beginnings. do not be waited forever to fear , yoked eternally to britishness. the horizon leans forward,
offering you space to place new steps of change. here on the pulse of this fine day, you may have the courage to look up and upon and out the rock, the river, the tree, your country. here on the pulse of this new day, you may have the grace to look up and out and into your yourr's eyes, and to brother's face. your country, and say simply, with hope, good morning." [applause] i would like to introduce myself. i am a student majoring in microbiology from baton rouge, louisiana. i would like to welcome and for helping me to
be part of this historical moment. [inaudible] a descendent. 1999.ry started in i delivered a premature baby. medical research had not advanced in the areas. he had a 10% chance of survival and eventually, he would need round the clock care. i decided to remove him from life support. 2013, i delivered another premature child, one pounds seven ounces. had the same disease that had taken her brother's life but because of advances in research,
the odds were in her favor. the same institution that sold my ancestors is the same institution that found a cure for my disease that had taken my son's life and spirit my daughter. givingthat -- you're life. at -- a chance of my ancestors would not want me to be angry because they know -- wasppened to them but horrible but there descendent benefited. she is now three years old. i ask for nothing but -- for myself. that you continue to save those precious lives and i ask that you continue with their research because you never know who will be affected.
individuals,- two their lives, their stories, their families, we recall and justices we faced and our role in them and we bear witness to een forgotten.ad b we do this in the context of a pushingty community, through blocks to understanding, blocks to freedom, blocks to human flourishing. we have a responsibility in the pursuit of inquiry, and the formation of our students and our service to others to question, challenge, and critique received knowledge. have a responsibility to seek grasp.r involves harsh
realities. ourare for each other and traditions sustains us in this effort to seek the truth. it provides a framework, a calling to engage deeply with the tensions and conflicts, the theions and challenges and spirit of responsibility. when we named these buildings freedom hall and remembrance hall, following the recommendation of our working group on slavery, memory, and reconciliation for a temporary set of names, well we engaged in further conversation as a community -- while we engaged and -- in further conversation as a community. our community's argument shape -- our communities are given
shape i these traditions and memories that we inherit. history is a live for us -- a light for a city moment. we are one committee but right now, every community is being asked to look deep within themselves and to find the best of which they are capable. as our nation's oldest catholic university, we are a place that grew alongside our new republic. as we seek to understand our story, we deepen our understanding of our shared american story. we must confront this history to make visible this history, to ensure this history is alive to .s the enslavement of africans and african americans by our community, people like isaac whose eldest son charles and daughter nellie, each one of the enslaved children, women, and men of the maryland plantations, we must make visible the lives
and experience of free blacks during a time of interest -- enslavement, people like ann the daughter of william and sarah. school forfounded a black girls in the town of georgetown, in the 1820's. she later became sister mary aloysius of the newly established at late sisters -- ablate sisters. we seek to recognize the lives, hardships, and legacies of isaac hawkins and anne marie becraft, as we learn more about their lives in the context in which they live, we learn our history, our history is memorialized in these spaces. in coming to know isaac hawkins and anne marie becraft and
honoring them and memorializing them, ensuring their place and presence in our committee's history, we also come to know ourselves better. and whatenges we face is required of us as we address the challenges in our moment. all of us share in the responsibility the choice by the historian john hope franklin 60 years ago when he provided a new framing of the history of our nation. "what we need to do about society as individual numbers is to confront our past and see it for what it is, having done that, we should then make a good-faith effort to turn our history around." this is a moment for all of us to more deeply understand our history, to envision a new future, and formed and shaped by
and ever living god, it is our human history and human circumstances, both the sublime and the sinful, that brings us to this moment of dedication. at this moment in our human history, at this moment in this university's history, we ask for your divine blessing. history allows us to presume that isaac hawkins was heartened and consoled by his family as well as by his friendship with other slaves. but history allows us to presume by his was hurt enslavement and treatment as a slave. today with utility insincerity, --remember and honor him with humility and sincerity we
remember and honor him. we pray that they be with you presenceing in your and your glory. honor anne marie vision, ande generosity allowed her to racism and provide a education for young african women. may the naming of these buildings in honor of isaac hawkins and anne marie becraft be a remembrance and inspiration that all human beings are endowed by you, our creator, with certain inalienable rights, of life liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
dedicationde today's remind and inspire all to appreciate and respect all the one wonderful -- all the wonderful diversity with which you endowed humankind. we ask for your blessing upon isaac hawkins hall and anne marie becraft hall and for all who will walk through, passed by, and reside in these halls. we ask your blessing for all of us gathered on this occasion. may we make our home the words , acted profit -- prophet justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with our god. amen. >> thank you for offering this
messing. and to all of our speakers. we are grateful to each of you for your words, your presence, your contributions to our work as we honor the lives of isaac hawkins and anne marie becraft. thank you for being here as we mark of these halls with their permanent names, i hope today's spirit helps to shapes the work and history of our community. our choir will lead us in one more song and we will conclude with the ringing of the bells from the tower in healey hall. four members of the descendent community who wish to take part in a large group photo, we invite you to come to the stage as we finish the song and to andd by isaac hawkins hall
our photographer and events team will help direct you. the descendent community is invited to a dialogue at 1:30 p.m. lunch will be available for attendees in the session immediately following the ceremony. for those not taking part in the photo, we ask you to proceed direct me to lunch on the lawn through the center doors. it has been an honor and privilege to share in this moment with all of you. >> ♪
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care is going to be the same thing. we are now super-focused on health care in this country. >> that was just part of an on how toed recently build a more affordable health care system. it is book tv with authors who have written about life in the white house and beyond. and on c-span3, american history tv looks at the creation and message of the holocaust museum and the 9/11 memorial and museum. "afterwords,"t on congressman ken buck of colorado discusses his book, "drain the swamp." d.c. andou arrive in have the surroundings i described earlier, you get very comfortable in that situation and you don't want to live up
those comforts. the way you continue to earn those comforts is spend more andy and grow government not solve problems but to create programs and take credit for the programs, whether they are efficient or effective, to take credit for them. congress,e members of it is the best job they have ever had, the highest paying job they have ever had, and it is a job they do not want to give up. their reelection is more important than the actual problem solving that needs to go on in d.c.. >> watch sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span twos book tv. the state of new york has proposed a free college tuition program recently and our guest is with the manhattan