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I SEE U, Episode 25: Troublesome Legacies

The Vanderslice family, who are the descendants of the former Alta Vista Plantation that is now Prairie View A & M University, speak candidly about the hard truths of the past and their partnership with the Historically Black College.

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After the death of George Floyd organizations across America embarked upon what has been called a racial reckoning. A process started to be more intentional about understanding the impact of race on the past and charting a course for how we will make a better racial future. For a lot of universities this has meant confronting their own history with enslavement and racial segregation. Nearly two decades ago, Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) President Ruth Simmons, as president of Brown University, led the school through an historic intellectual and institutional process to know more about the role of Brown's participation in the slave trade. What resulted was an historic accounting of university history and a model many universities seek to follow. On this episode we discuss the ongoing efforts to uncover their institutions connections of slavery and segregation with historians Drs. Alexander Byrd and Caleb McDaniel at Rice University and Dr. Marco Robinson at Prairie View A&M University. Given Prairie View's connection to those who were enslaved and Rice's founders history as a slaveholder, we ask are there differences when the project is undertaken by a predominantly white or historically black college. We'll also talk to the Vanderslice family who are descendants of the owners of the Alta Vista plantation that was purchased by the state of Texas to establish Prairie View. What happens when universities start to confront the hard truths of their past on this episode of, I SEE U.

 

This article is part of the I SEE U with Eddie Robinson podcast

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