"Who Should Own Photos of Slaves? The Descendants, not Harvard . . ."
The New York Times
"Renty was a reader and teacher despite anti-literacy laws. . ."
USA Today
"Harvard shamelessly turned a profit from photos . . ."
The Guardian
Renty_1 (1).jpeg
Harvard Coalition to Free Renty

A student-led coaliton to #FREERENTY - calls upon Harvard University and the Peabody Museum to surrender images of these individuals to their family and support reparations discussion.

170 Years of Slavery
"Harvard accused of retaining and profiting from images of slaves."
The Washington Post
"170 Years a Slave - FREE Renty! . . ."
Hyperallergic
". . .a story of racism and exploitation . . ."
The CT Mirror

Imagine your family is photographed against their will, that their image is publicly displayed for profit, and you cannot prevent it.  This is what Harvard University and Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology are doing today - and it needs to STOP.

Lanier v. Harvard case, from the descendants themselves.  (3 min)

Student Video Letters to Harvard's President Bacow 

 

A Call for More Student Video Letters!

The Coalition is asking supporters to submit a 15-30 second video statement to Harvard stating why it is important to YOU that the University surrender images of Renty & Delia to their family.  INFO HERE

Be Heard, Be Seen and Be Recognized because

YOU MATTER!

Free Renty tells the story of one African-American woman's struggle to reclaim her heritage.

The-Politics-of-Slavery-Essay V2.jpg

Compelling Articles

in Explanation, in Support, in Disbelief

Please Read & Share With Others

BREAKING  NEWS

The New York Times - 3/4/2021

Images of Slaves Are Property of Harvard, Not a Descendant, Judge Rules   FULL ARTICLE

BBC News 3/5/2021

Judge dismisses suit over 'slave ancestor'

photos at Harvard   FULL ARTICLE

Harvard Crimson  3/4/2021

Massachusetts Court Dismisses Lawsuit Over Harvard's Possession of Slave Photos    FULL ARTICLE

Tamara Lanier plans to begin the process of appealing the decision.  

THIS BATTLE IS FAR FROM OVER! 

How You Can Help - We Need You

WHAT YOU CAN DO

 

Slave descendant family, represented by Tamara Lanier.

LAW vs MORALITY

This lawsuit, partnered with Harvard's entitled behavior, wounds student morale and pride.  SEE OFFICIAL SUIT FILING HERE

 

Three moral challenges to consider:

  • University President Bacow said, "I think we have the law on our side."

 

BUT using property law to argue ownership of slave photos when a family is fighting for images of their family members to be respected and surrender​ed, is thoughtless at best.

  • Harvard administrators claim their use and display of Renty and Delia's images emphasize the slaves' humanity.

 

BUT these photos were taken in the 1850s. Without consent, Renty and daughter were stripped, photographed, analyzed, and cataloged​. Continued use of these images in public domain when the family objects, certainly does NOT represent humanity.

  • Peabody's Director, Jane Pickering, self-appointed the museum an "ethical steward" of both images and stories of Renty and Delia, and announced its intention to further publicly promote them.

 

BUT why does Harvard and Peabody believe it is their duty to own images and stories of enslaved people and fight slave descendants to maintain this ownership?

About

Harvard Coalition to Free Renty

A student-led coalition to #FREERENTY - calls upon Harvard University and the Peabody Museum to surrender images of these individuals to their family and support reparations discussions.