Skip to main content

tv   After Words  CSPAN  December 28, 2013 7:00am-8:01am EST

7:00 am
line. tight the author or book title on the upper left side of the page and click search. you can share anything you see on booktv go easily by clicking share on the upper left of the page and selecting the form at. booktv streams live online 48 hours every weekend with top nonfiction books and authors. booktv.org. >> i think radio is the longest and best form of media that is what. we are doing our long conversations on c-span, you and charlie knows, you read books the way i read books, to talk to the authors seriously and is tremendously revealing when an author has their book read these days because they don't get many people who have read their books and know what they're talking about. is so rewarding to them. i get a great deal of satisfaction when an author says to me, that is the best interview i have had on this book to.
7:01 am
just got it from charles croppedhammer, the things that matter, his new collection of essays some of which are biographical. that makes my day. died like radio. three hours is an abundance of time and i can do so many things. >> more with radio talk-show host hugh hewitt on c-span's q&a. you are watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate, weeknights watch the public policy events and every weekend the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get schedules that our web site and join in the conversation on social media sites. up next on booktv, afterwards with guest host, political activist and radio host joe madison talking with craig steven wilder on his book "ebony
7:02 am
and ivy: race, slavery, and the troubled history of america's universities". in the book, the mit history shared discusses how the campuses of many of the universities were not only built by slave labor but funded by profits earned from the practice of slavery. this program is about an hour. >> professor wilder, the first question is how did you start down the road, we were laughing before you said when you started you had hair, but -- >> not a lot but i had hair. >> what started you down the road to actually put "ebony and ivy" together. >> sort of a long story i can make short. i had been moving from one job to another, one teaching position to another, had just finished a book project and started on what i thought would be a simple book, a simple
7:03 am
article actually, something really short. i was going to explain how black abolitionists got their education given the fact they were excluded by race from american colleges and universities and tell the story and some of them went to europe, some went to new england and studied privately, some studied privately in the mid-atlantic and became ministers and teachers and others. but one of the things i got more interested in as i started the project was why they were excluded from these colleges and universities, these colleges have a long history with black people on campus, and enslaved people but not astute but they have a long history with native americans and at the time black students were excluded native american students had been on campus for 200 years. >> host: they had been on campus doing what?
7:04 am
>> guest: almost 200 years. how were they able to be on campuses? >> guest: the first attempt to build a college for native american students is 210 years before the first attempt to build a black college. the first native american graduate from a college graduates almost 200 years the for the first black graduate. the first native minister is ordain 150 years before the first black minister. that sounds like native americans are privileged. in fact the story i tell in the book is it is precisely the role of the university in colonialism that explains the early fresen of native students on campus and that role explains how universities turned to the slave trade to fund their enterprise. >> host: when you say the conquest. from what i was reading, the
7:05 am
part of the conquest was this thing of these are savages, these are people that are inferior and we have to educate them or train them or somehow make some not savage. i am speaking in reference to the native americans. >> guest: the belief was that the goal, the obligation was to bring the gospel, bring the bible to untutored people. and to civilize them in that way when in fact that civilizing project went hand in hand with conquest and territorial expansion and one of the things that was surprising to me as i started the book was the quite clear role colleges played in that early colonial period. i am a great beneficiary of the american college, american colleges and universities helped take me as a kid with a single
7:06 am
mother raising 3 kids all by herself in brooklyn, new york and turned me into a college professor with tenure. a pediatrician in d.c.. and so i have always thought of higher education and colleges and universities as benevolent institutions, institutions that do good things if we can get access to them and what the research began to expose is the role that universities can play, universities can be weapons of social justice but what shocked me when i started doing research was they could be weapons of social destruction. they could actually play a huge part in undermining the integrity of native american nations and civilization. one of the things i write about in the first chapter is the desire to christianize native
7:07 am
people, led to several attempts to build colleges' both successful and failed and the primary mission, the education of native people, that has all sorts of impact on native societies. it means there will be generational division between parents and children. it means youngsters brought into the christian education system are going to be tutored in english and only have a remnant of native culture. >> host: in the book "ebony and ivy" the talked-about the type of chasm that might have been created as it relates to intergenerational conflict? >> host: i touched on it. >> guest: show the ways the early colleges had a very militaristic role, part of their goal, part of their purpose was
7:08 am
to help achieve that strategic aim of the colonists and we often deeply education, deploy schools in the colonial world to soften the resistance of native people to europeans. >> host: let's fast-forward to the issue of slavery because the one thing that catches people's attention and the critics have talked about this, how the slavery founded these college campuses, funded and build these campuses, and who wears these individuals that build the harvards, yales, browns, and we remember the headlines from brown university that started with a steady, how much of that had an impact on what was in at
7:09 am
the 11? >> guest: i was four five years into this project when brown university released its report and the former president of brown courageously and in the face of great criticism and great criticism from her own constituents -- >> host: the board of trustees? >> guest: courageously articulated the purpose of high re-education which is the pursuit of truth. we pursue truth in all these other rvs and also have to pursue truth in our own history as institutions the brown report, four or five years into this project, this was a massive undertaking and it was in 2006 when i realized how big this was, how much time it was going to take and that was part of me that didn't want to go forward.
7:10 am
it just seemed enormous. and five years later, ten years later i was actually with a coherent book, i would have more and more information. at that time the book wasn't clear in my head yet. what i was clear about was the amount of material there was to go through, to pull the story together. the project took me from quebec city in canada to the carolinas along the east coast to scotland and england, holland. >> host: why scotland? i could understand england but why scotland? bring people up in to understanding why a book on race, slavery and the troubled
7:11 am
history of american university, why scotland? >> scotland is a tremendous influence on the lives of colonial north america and ultimately on the rise of the united states as an independent nation. scottish immigrants are the largest group of free people. >> host: where the term redneck came from. >> guest: the largest group of free people to cross the atlantic in the eighteenth century in the decades before the american revolution. in places like pennsylvania back country, the carolinas, westwood kentucky, georgia, and with this enormous migration also comes a migration of ideas. scottish universities helping to
7:12 am
modernize american colleges. scottish ministers who govern overseas schools and loads of american students, colonial students head to scotland to study medicine. and establish the very first schools in the north american colonies established by american colonial students in new jersey and philadelphia. >> host: correct me if i am wrong, the principal players in the slave trade, and someone has a trade that comes out of small towns in bristol, remember how massive the slave trade is. and the enormously of the
7:13 am
african trade in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the ways in which the trade shade to the atlantic world and constituted the economy that connected europe to effort and south america. out of which the united states will be borne. >> host: in terms of building these campuses. who were these founders of these universities? where if a slave traders? >> guest: they are largely ministers from various denominations, colonial schools are denominational schools so if this puritan harvard, columbia,
7:14 am
king's college, dutch reformed queens college, and presbyterian college of new jersey is princeton. those are denominational schools that emerge out of the church of communion. once they are established and as you establish a them you need money to do that and the first source of funds will be england, the colony's will turn to england. >> host: why would they want to fund -- >> guest: i jokingly described it to myself, some of these chapters, why would english want to give the puritans money to establish a school in new england in massachusetts, that is a great goal. not necessarily warm, friendly relations between the puritans
7:15 am
and anglican church. this is where we get back to native american history where native americans become key. american colonists were really quite skillful at raising money, using the evangelization of native people as the goal, sending missionaries or emissaries to england and raising money under the claim but evangelizing native people, the first brick building at harvard is the indian colony. that is where the money is coming from and where donations are coming from. >> host: this allows the expansion of the colonials and the expansion -- >> guest: facilitate economic
7:16 am
expansion, accelerates the crumbling of native society on the frontier and on the borders. so they are not, quote, slaveholders but eventually after independence -- >> guest: they turn -- they can pretty quickly. if these are religious schools to begin with and they are all religious schools, very quickly they have to figure out the sources of funding, one source is going to be europe, england in particular and raising money on the claim of the evangelizing native americans. the other source of money available to them is the rising population of colonial elite, people who have money with in the colonies. in particular in england and the americas the group is made of
7:17 am
slave traders operating out of places like barbados in jamaica, boasting the wealthiest men in british america. many of them actually are absentee landlords who live in england and manage their plantations from afar. >> host: male children might go to military or to own the land, the middle child, the next youngest will go to the college. >> guest: they station their children at various points. that is how we should think about them. these family networks, somewhat for instance the new york slave traders who i studied for a long time will have the main warehouses in new york city, in manhattan but also to the caribbean. and establish them there and
7:18 am
send another sent to england, usually bristol or london and from those various points they can manage their operations more efficiently, move money and goods more efficiently and gives them the chance to make strategic changes in the plans for these extended shipping voyages so there are all sorts of reasons why they do this but the colonial schools quickly begin also to turn to the population of increasingly wealthy men and families with interest in the americas and begin to advertise themselves as institutions of their own making and their own design that can cater to their children more efficiently. i use several examples of this, one of the more famous is john witherspoon, a minister from scotland becomes the president
7:19 am
of princeton university, one of the first things he does when he arrives at princeton shortly after, up one of the chapters is named after in which it was sent in has come to imply great wealth and goes on, send their boys to princeton, well taken care of and turned in to the financial and responsible young men. too large and decentralize to give that kind of attention. and the potential of the american colonies to serve themselves and the potential of these educational institutions to cater to the needs of the colonial elite and the colonial elite is largely a product of the slave trade. and large plantation owners in the caribbean and the american
7:20 am
south. >> host: when we read the reviews as most people will before, without getting into the meat of "ebony and ivy," talking with professor craigslist -- craig steven wilder, the subtitle, "ebony and ivy: race, slavery, and the troubled history of america's universities," the impression is slaves built these universities, not just money from the slave trade finance them but was there actually the presence of slaves on the universities of harvard, yale, princeton, brown and in what capacity or every capacity related to labor? >> guest: the enslaved people in the hotels, the dormitories of the colonial period, the cleanup after the student, they collect wood, they gather wood for fires and in charge of lighting
7:21 am
candles and putting them out in the evening, study rooms and running errands for students and faculty at harvard, yale, columbia, a princeton, many college presidents don't and enslaved people. within a couple years purchase two people, one for his main house and one for the campus house. >> host: birdies under the ownership of the university inc. or under the ownership of various professors? >> guest: the problem is there is a technical issue but a little harder to decipher in the colonial period. for instance, one of the things i looked at, looked at a lot of
7:22 am
the county records in which these colleges, when you look at the colonial county records, the name of the president or the professor and listed with taxable property, and enslaved person or two or three. and students brought slaves to school. >> guest: if you look at the name of the president, part of his taxable property is an enslaved person you also have for instance in the case of princeton or harvard you actually have the president's name did know the college. and who owns the person? sort of common knowledge of the local area, the president and college are inseparable anyway so i didn't spend a lot of time trying to decipher that because
7:23 am
in fact -- >> host: college town. no more college towns than they are now a few can believe that. >> guest: these are -- >> host: cambridge would be a college town. >> guest: the tallest building in british america when it is built. these colleges dominate the environment. >> host: one of the things i also found fascinating about "ebony and ivy" is you talk about the slaves who built the campuses and waited on the faculty and the students was the curriculum. this white supremacy that was perpetrated, u.s. a professor of history, this must have driven you -- i don't know how you maintain your intellectuals and
7:24 am
eddie, you obviously knew this before, to have it supported in the actual research of these, quote, what we now consider liberal institutions teaching white supremacy. not trying to sound as if i am surprised, but if you said that now about yale or harvard, people would think my goodness, when did this start? how did get started but you sort of explain that because of the people who started these universities. >> guest: it is in the source of their funding and the american revolution, the tension between the colonies and england increased. the capacity of the american colonists to raise money, the indian college at harvard,
7:25 am
largely taken down at the beginning of the eighteenth century. start using it for other stuff. and i read it in the book and as the native american military threat in new england declined, the interest in evangelizing native americans declined with the best. to some extent linked. that doesn't mean there wasn't the desire to christianize native people but there was also a strategic interest in evangelizing and christianizing them. one of the things that happened that i wrestled with in the book related to the question you asked me earlier, did students bring slaves to campus? yes. they marry and pay fees for slaves on campus. ending king's college, george washington comes to new york
7:26 am
city with jackie and jackie's slave and the president of columbia king's college, myles cooper, gives him a suite of rooms that jackie has painted and suited to his taste and joe is given the smaller bed room of the two. students arrive with slave to campus, the faculty often had slaves but one of the things i wanted to get across in a chapter about enslaved people on campus is enslaved people were inseparable part of the college experience in the colonial world. >> host: they were exposed to higher education. >> guest: there are examples of this. betsy stockton who was in slave
7:27 am
to one of the presidents of princeton studied in the library of the president and becomes an extraordinarily gifted biblical scholar where she is actually being consulted by biblical scholars in other parts -- and largely self-taught. and ashville green gave her instructions, instructed her in the president's house and continued to study on her own as she got older. >> host: let me read something dilated and let you expound, this is cotton comes to harvard. charles foley was first of all, who was he? and the reason i bring this up, this future cotton planter, henry watson jr.. the ancient egyptian said the curly hair and other features of
7:28 am
the african race and contemporary egyptian were later in complexion because of centuries of mixing with europeans and professor did not leave it to students to infer that black africans cradled civilization, all the false theory is, so often advanced in favor of slavery. expand on that. it seems to be there was a conflict, i take it, who were the egyptian, how was racism talks, africans who were not africans even to the point, the reason i bring this up, this argument takes place today. >> host: it sounds very modern. >> guest: 1990s when i was in school the argument we were having all over new york. every tableside, streetside
7:29 am
bookseller was engaged in this debate with the crowd for a decade. it does sound very modern and is very modern but let's think who this is. henry watson jr. is a young man from east windsor, conn. who goes to washington collagen harvard which is now trinity, and finishes his education at harvard and graduates in the early 1830s with his be a from harvard and the introduction to the book largely uses henry watson jr.'s story, to alabama, looking to become a tutor on a plantation to make some money he can save and go to law school and the reason i find them fascinating, and in the 1830s, the south represented an extraordinary field of opportunities. it was precisely the wealth of southern slaveholders, the wealth of the plantation but it
7:30 am
was also the educational neglect of the sell-off that created opportunities for well-educated northerners who wanted to head south to begin their careers and like a lot of them watson planned to go for all year, make money, go back home, become an attorney. >> host: he would be educating the children. >> guest: working as a plantation tutor. there was always an unequal distribution and looking -- i give examples of young men graduating in the same time period, the become quite famous like benjamin silliman, one of the most important science professors in the history of yale and a professor who begin the yale science program faces the same choice when he finishes college but watson is disappointed, he doesn't get the
7:31 am
job so he heads back home. and self-conscious about getting money from his father when this endeavor has proven fruitless but he heads back to connecticut. he does study law and he goes south again, heads to alabama and establishes himself as a planter and over the next decade becomes wealthy and successful as a planter on the eve of the civil war owns 100 people. over 100 people, and a lead in a voice in defense of southern slaveholders. that young man sat in the class of an abolitionist at harvard in the early 1830s. he heard the argument, not just an abolitionist argument but anti racist arguments, trying to
7:32 am
argue that the mountain of myths that were being used to defend american slavery were nothing more than that, just myths and if one looks at history -- >> host: approach this in a scholarly way. >> guest: largely used history, and went back to the ancient egyptian stance made the argument we were often making on the street corners in the 1990s. does sound very modern, very contemporary. this is a young man who fought to liberalize germany and chased out of europe, arrested for political activism, chased out of europe, comes to the united states, he has sort of some what threat to experience of running
7:33 am
into the marquis they lafayette in 1825-1826 when he is brought back for the 50th anniversary, the french general who fought with the americans and on the fifth anniversary of the declaration of independence congress invites him back to the americas to celebrate. he runs into him in philadelphia and contacts his biographer at harvard who actually a ranges and appointment, he goes back to political activism, teaching the young students at harvard about history but also teaching about contemporary issues of society and there is no greater contemporary issues than the question of human slavery in the americas and ultimately fallon will be chased out of harvard for that position.
7:34 am
the funds for his professorsshould will be put away. the trustees and officers. >> host: because of his -- >> guest: his position on slavery is critical. that is the accelerant that really flames of fire. >> host: at some point we do reading history and you do write about it, at some point former slaves, african-americans, are allowed to attend harvard, yale. at what point did that change? >> it happens in stages and very different points. you can go back to the revolutionary era at, the first black people that come to campus in what becomes the united states is right after the revolution and what happens is a
7:35 am
number of presidents at the snow logger colonial, early american schools begin taking black students for private study. >> host: for what reason? >> guest: the reasons are very different. some are affected by the rhetoric of the revolution itself. the call for liberty and justice actually resonates and they begin to question slavery's themselves. there is an active and i slavery debate happening on american campuses in the aftermath of the american revolution. this discussion is happening on southern campuses in the aftermath of the revolution. college faculty and college students actually would debate the question of slavery quite a bit. >> host: such revolutionary universities recognize to daylight southeastern university and southern university.
7:36 am
>> host: >> guest: university of north carolina actually has an abolitionist speaker at one of its graduations in the early nineteenth century and actually published the speech and it is circulated around the united states. >> host: are these individuals who live in sleigh voting states, again in "ebony and ivy," are they abolitionists? or is this a free exchange of intellectual debate and discussion? >> guest: is a free debate and discussion also driven by abolitionists or at least people uncomfortable with continuation of slavery as is and the new york society which is made up largely of slaveholders and is established at the end of the revolution begins to fund an award at columbia for the best
7:37 am
speech against slavery that exposes the immorality of slavery and the slave trade. this is given at graduation and is based on something that happened in england already. they borrow a metals that -- that model of the discussion by offering a metal. these are debate happening across the campuses and in the aftermath of the american revolution, some are affected by the rhetoric of the revolution, actually now been exposed to the british anti slave trade campaign and the extraordinary political force that represents on both sides of the atlantic and some of been swayed by those arguments particularly on the question of the slave trade. another group actually begin to see black americans as
7:38 am
potentially a tool for christianizing africa so they begin to take on black students with the hope of preparing them as missionaries to send back to africa as christian missionaries on the logic that much like native americans -- >> host: back to the early part of the discussion. >> guest: 200 years earlier. how do you christianize a native nation? >> host: goes through the children and they become a second generation and i follow you. >> guest: the swiftest way to evangelize native nations with people of their own as one minister puts it, people of their own color. taken native children, turn them into missionaries and return them as an adolescent or late teenagers early 20s and they
7:39 am
will do the work. >> host: as you are talking i am just curious, this creates -- i will use the term, a chasm between older black and younker educated blacks being educated but for other purposes. understand where i am trying to go with this? we often have this argument even today, you are just a tool. that is what i am getting at. you discuss that in "ebony and ivy" 11. educated african americans tools? did they know they were tools? >> guest: i try to be careful with native americans and african-americans who receive this education in the way i talk about them. i tried to be cautious because
7:40 am
in fact for instance with the native americans, king philip's work, the campaign that emerges, the english call king philip, it is a combination of native nations against the puritans against the english and almost conquers christian new england, it comes close, without some external help and some good luck christian new england might have fallen. serving with king philip, two or three native people who were educated at harvard and that is also true two centuries later as we begin to take young black men, a black women and prepares them for these various roles.
7:41 am
very often action will be those educations become radicalizing experiences, not necessarily the civilizing one is that the benefactors in head and. the capacity of people of color to use their education to pursue their own game and to pursue the liberating project of liberating their people, shouldn't be ignored or swept under the rug the. we have to pay attention to is that so i am careful not to make this argument that education always succeeded in the gold. to say that education, we could use it strategically is one thing. doesn't mean they succeeded. among native americans, african-americans you find loads of examples of people who took those educations and turned them into radical in mandatory
7:42 am
purposes within their own community. >> host: what in your research, ten years you worked on this. when you first started with this concept that turned into "ebony and ivy" and again dr. craig steven wilder, fascinating read on this. i am curious if this will be required reading for your students. >> guest: i never asked my students to buy my book. i could tell from what is in it. >> host: was there anything as a historian, was there anything that surprised you as you were researching and writing at the 11? just to this day if i were a student in your class and asked
7:43 am
the question, what really caught your attention? what release the quick view, surprise you? >> guest: the thing i wrestled with the most when i was writing the book, this is rooted in my own experiences as a black man growing up in the united states in the era that i did, was how to balance these historical narratives of different groups of people. once you take up the topic of colleges and slavery it seems to me is that it would be a less than honest telling of the story if i didn't actually explain the relationship between these colleges and native american nations. that story doesn't make sense. in the colonial period you can't tell the story of how these colleges got involved in the
7:44 am
slave trade and how their trustees ended up becoming slave traders and how they created these cozy relationships to planters in the south and the west indies to slave traders in the northeast and europe, why they cultivated these people aggressively for so long. that story doesn't ultimately make sense unless you actually look west and think about their ambitions of the colonial project. west of the east coast's. actually think about the native american nation aligned along the boundary between the colonies and indian country as it often gets called. so i had i felt to felt the story well i had to become a student of native american history. >> host: native americans, what
7:45 am
you are telling us, the common historical fought we are often talked is native americans did not make good slaves, but you do talk about them being enslaved. is that a mid? is that a myth and a fallacy? >> we have all sorts of myths about native people, think about native slavery, there is an enormous trade in native people in colonial america, as one historian pointed out, south carolina, n.c. it is the trade in enslaved africans being brought into the carolinas and concord and enslaved native people being sold out of the carolinas into the caribbean and
7:46 am
also up to canada, from the seventeenth century on, eastern canada has been a healthy and receptive market for native people enslaved in wars. native people are often enslaved and sold into the caribbean so these are largely we have a lot of myth making about slavery but when it comes to the thing that surprises me the most -- >> host: i am glad we had a chance to discuss that because it is the common thought often expressed in casual historical conversation, africans were brought here because native americans didn't make good slaves, they ran away, disappeared into the western wilderness. >> guest: and the enormous death rate, extraordinary mortality rate among native people do to new diseases in the first hundred years of contact but in
7:47 am
fact actually none of that stopped us from enslaving native people. that is a lesson we should take away. not a single one of those factors stopped us from enslaving and selling native people into bondage in other parts of the americas, there are native american slaves on college campuses right here in north america by both faculty and offices of colleges and i list some of them. >> host: of wanted to emphasize that because as people get into "ebony and ivy" they might say whether we getting to the african slaves, you spend a great deal of time prefacing the relationship of africans and slavery with what happened prior to africans being in essence brought in as slavery in
7:48 am
extraordinary numbers. this is the other question as we start to wrap up. there will be those who will read at the 11 and -- "ebony and ivy" 11 -- i have the sense this is two books in one. i mentioned that earlier. the glossary, the footnote. i tend to tear into how people come up with the narrative that they write about. it is amazing, you have done that on purpose, researchers, historians can see where you got this information then expand upon it. >> guest: my goal was to take a difficult topic and make it accessible, make it readable and approachable. there is also another public that i write for which are
7:49 am
academics and people doing research in this field and i wanted to provide them with as accurate and clear a map as i could to help along their project and the work they have been publishing has helped me. >> host: i would be remiss if i didn't ask about your own institution and like the end with a fit in. >> guest: we show up at the end of the book. the rise of the technical and engineering colleges and universities in the decades before the civil war which is very much influenced by the expansion of the cotton culture of the united states, cotton textile manufacturing in new england that produces a whole way of of new wealth but to get those running you need qualified engineers and the owners of those miltown and investors also begin investing in engineering and science education at
7:50 am
existing universities and -- >> host: plantation owners have the raw products manufactured in new england and financed in new york and raw materials in the south produced by slaves, financed by new york bankers and insurers and industrialization -- >> guest: manufactured in new england into textiles and you need scientists and engineers, wikipedia began investing as one historian put it, embracing whole towns, and do this large-scale manufacturing. >> host: there are those who may finish reading "ebony and ivy" and ask the question do these universities, do i dare mention
7:51 am
the word reparation. i don't know how that discussion comes up in your classroom. and some people may end up with, what is your thought behind it. >> guest: back to the most surprising thing. one of the things i learned in doing this book is history is not a race to see who is worse off or most oppressed. part of the reason i want to blend together the stories and history of native americans with african-americans with european christians was to actually get to the truth, the facts, the details of what happened and explain them as accurately and carefully as i could. miley job as a historian is not
7:52 am
to avoid difficult topics but to choose difficult topics and my task is to take readers through that, to help them and guide them through difficult moments in our history. there are consequences to doing that. brown has begun to initiate and implement the recommendations from the brown committee in 2006 and ways in which brown can actually reconcile its current reality with its history. and establish a center. there was a new center established on campus, a decision to make more aggressive investment in financial aid and scholarship to be proactive and recommit to a diverse campus, a
7:53 am
campus that recognized education should be a tool of social justice. at william and mary there has been movement in the same direction, an exhibit on campus, the university of alabama there was a faculty statement about the history of the institution with slavery and that is in some ways the right motion. i don't have a prescription for all the universities i read about in the book, i do think universities have to engage their own history and i recognize there are consequences. >> host: universities have to engage in the book again, raise slavery and the troubled history of america's universities, engage them and deal with their own consequences which i think i heard you say. that should be left up to vote
7:54 am
universities? >> guest: it is about the students, the alumni, a conversation that needs to happen on campus but also the surrounding area, meaning the neighborhoods in which they live, cities and towns in which they lived. the solution for yale is different from the solution for william and mary or cambridge even. part of honestly grappling with the troubled history of the american university is recognizing the troubled history of american universities and end when the book ended. one of the things i did in the book and did on purpose was i sought the book at the high point of scientific racism because i wanted to get the reader to the deck of the they could see the modern university emerging without necessarily telling you, spending and a ten
7:55 am
years -- >> host: scientific racism, quickly, what do you say in the book? what is scientific racism? >> guest: there are a few chapters where i talk about the emergence of race within science, and one of the things i argue is not only does science become one of the key ways for establishing legitimacy of racial fthought and racial defense of slavery, the idea that african people are inherently inferior and created, prepared by nature for a certain level of humanity. a certain level of treatment.
7:56 am
procured by nature for that existence. that idea preexists the rise of the scientific academy in north america but that's coopted by science and in many ways science becomes one of the key areas for defending race and defending the injustice of modern slavery. i right about that in the book for a few reasons. one of the key ones is that is the past that allows universities to emerge by the 1830s as independent active in the political sphere, the ability of university faculty and offices to argue in defense of slavery, that creates a space in the public's fear. >> host: the debate i assume because it is the university, they are the center of learning, so therefore, what more appropriate place to take place
7:57 am
and validate racist science you are talking about. >> guest: the university rises with race and race creates the prestige of the university so that raise ultimately and fetters universities. we said these are church schools, denominational schools. we break free of the church in the nineteenth century. and largely because they now have the capacity through science to make secular arguments. >> host: they start with non secular funding and support and as they progress and become more influential they break free of that and align themselves with pseudoscience. >> guest: one of the key
7:58 am
elements is the rise of racial science that creates a new public prestige in university but the modern university found exactly that moment. one thing i would argue about the question of preparation and social justice is we have to remember that the troubled history of the american university doesn't end when the book ends. it continues into the 20th century because the same racial concept actually come to justify all sorts of new brutality in the modern world and we shouldn't for ted-forget that a lot of those ideas didn't have their origin on campus but got their legitimacy on campus, they got refined on campus, got validated on campus, got modernized on campus and got their political and social prestige on campus. >> host: is there another ten years in you to go from 1830 --
7:59 am
>> guest: i will stab -- help them every step of the way. the young person with a full head of parrot who wants that project i will help them every step of the way. >> host: to say it is a page turner doesn't do it justice. and i encourage everyone to please read this book and i started off making sure people understood that this is not a textbook. this is not a textbook. this is an excellent chronological experience that you have taken our universities that we hear so much about. it is their history. their history from beginning to where they are now. i do hope you will spend another ten years doing it because you did this one justice those thank you very much. really appreciate meeting you. the book is "ebony and ivy:
8:00 am
race, slavery, and the troubled history of america's universities," a professor craig steven wilder, you have my most admiration not having a student to buy this. >> guest: i hope my colleagues have their students by it. >> host: thanks for being with us. great book. joe madison 11. .. >> edwin black talks about his book, "financing the flames: how

79 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on