In the book Ebony and Ivy (affiliate link) — no, not that one — Craig Steven Wilder did some deep digging into the history of America’s Ivy league universities, the likes of Yale, Princeton…and arguably Rutgers, to show that the initial capital that many of these schools relied on were made possible due to chattel slavery. Harvard is no exception.

In the 1930’s, Harvard Law adopted the family crest of Isaac Royall Jr., a wealthy family that owned slaves. Over the last few years, a student group named Royall Must Fall has protested Harvard’s use of the crest. Thankfully, their efforts have led to Harvard Law’s adoption of a new crest that is less slavery-flavored.

To be clear, this is not the first time that Harvard has been caught in the public eye concerning images and slavery. That said, it is inspirational to know that students found the time to push for what was right in between intense study and Netflix specials.

Oh, and to answer the question, about 80 years. To misquote Martin Luther King Jr., “The moral arch universe is long bends toward justice, but it runs on CP time”.

Earlier: Harvard Law School Takes A Scythe To Its Wheat Crest

Only Harvard Law Would Still Care About Something Like This

Harvard Slave Photo Lawsuit Is The Perfect Amalgam Of White Supremacy And Copyright Trolls

The Public Ivies, Little Ivies, and Other Ivy League Equivalents [Best Colleges]

The Harvard Law Shield Tied To Slavery Is Already Disappearing, After Corporation Vote [Washington Post]


Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. Before that, he wrote columns for an online magazine named The Muse Collaborative under the pen name Knehmo. He endured the great state of Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at cwilliams@abovethelaw.com.





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