How Law Student Goals Have Changed

Harvard Law School

Harvard Law School

Harvard Law School Built On ‘Brutal’ Slaveowner’s Money—And Students Are Beginning To Protest

 
Over the weekend, race-related protests at the University of Missouri escalated. One student went on a hunger strike and members of the school’s football team joined in the protest calling for the resignation of the University of Missouri’s president. The  ensuing protests at the school splashed across national headlines.
This past week, Harvard Law School also saw the beginnings of a race-related protest. Last Monday (Nov. 2), The Harvard Crimson reported on a group of 25 law school students protesting on Oct. 23 to remove the school’s seal. The current seal is the coat of arms for the family of Isaac Royall Jr., who endowed Harvard Law School. Royall was also a slaveholder.
“These symbols set the tone for the rest of the school and the fact that we hold up the Harvard crest as something to be proud of when it represents something so ugly is a profound disappointment and should be a source of shame for the whole school,” Alexander J. Clayborne, a law student involved in the movement, dubbed “Royall Must Fall” told the Crimson.
The movement stems from a recently published book by visiting Harvard Law professor, Daniel Coquillette. In the book, which outlines the first 100 years of Harvard Law, Coquillette calls Royall “a coward, and brutal slaveowner.” Still, Coquillette does not necessarily agree with the movement to remove the seal.
“As a historian…you just deal with the fact that this guy founded the school and tell the truth about it,” he told the Crimson. “To change things is to act like [they] didn’t happen, and that’s a mistake.”
So far the organized students have a Facebook page and are drafting a letter to Harvard Law Dean Martha Minow, requesting the removal of the seal, the Crimson reports. Another student representative told the Crimson the movement is still open to suggestions and very much at the early stages of development.
Source: The Harvard Crimson
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