In The NEWS

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IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund Grantee

Free Renty: Lanier v. Harvard - Documentary is Funded!

Tamara Lalnier's lawsuit against Harvard makes the explosive issues of white supremacy and reparations vividly personal.

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September 7th Update - The Harvard Crimson

Undergraduate Council Unanimously Passes Statement Condemning Harvard’s Possession of Images of Slaves

“President Bacow, it is not your place, nor is it the place of the University or affiliated institutions, to claim ownership under the law for Renty and Delia. Let them go home, and begin to set a new standard for Harvard that all students, faculty and the community can respect,” the legislation read. Learn More

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April, 2020, Connecticut Magazine

Tamara Lanier is suing Harvard over photos of her enslaved ancestors

All her life, Tamara Lanier heard stories about an enslaved ancestor named Renty. A few years ago, the Norwich resident started researching her family history and has since unearthed genealogical evidence she believes proves she is a descendant of Renty, an African-born slave who labored on a South Carolina plantation.  By Erik Ofgang, THE CONNECTICUT STORY.  Photo by Peter Hvizdak

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February 10, 2020, Cambridge Day

Removing Agassiz name from neighborhood wins unanimous support of city councillors

Maya Counter prepares to speak during Monday's meeting of the City Council about a proposed name change for the Agassiz neighborhood. (Photo: Marc Levy)

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January 30, 2020, The Harvard Crimson

Should Harvard Students and Alumni Be So Proud?

The student-led Harvard Coalition to Free Renty will congregate in coming weeks to review the Lanier case and take a critical look at how our school treats descendants of slaves. By Meredith McKinney

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December 18, 2019, The Harvard Crimson

Harvard Affiliates Petition University to Return Images of Slaves to Their Descendant

The Harvard Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology houses the images of two enslaved people which prompted an ongoing lawsuit against Harvard. By Rohan W. Goel 

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April 17, 2019, The Harvard Crimson

Harvard Has 'The Law on Our Side' in Lawsuit Over Photos of Slaves, Bacow Says

Lawrence S. Bacow was sworn in as Harvard's 29th president Friday in a ceremony attended by four University presidents. By Kathryn S. Kuhar 

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March 20, 2019 - The Washington Post

Harvard accused in lawsuit of retaining and profiting from images of slaves

When Tamara was a little girl, she said, her mother would often tell her stories about her great-great-great-grandfather, whom she called Papa Renty. He was from Congo, enslaved on a plantation in South Carolina . . . 

By Susan Svrluga and Mara Reinstein

 

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October 27th - The Harvard Crimson

Harvard's Window Dressing on Slavery

One year after Harvard promised to think more deeply and differently about its complicity in slavery, its actions show the shallowness of its commitment. By Caitlin Galante-DeAngelis Hopkins, The Harvard Crimson

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September 10th Hearing - Postponed

Harvard v. Tamara Lanier

The court date established to hear arguments supporting Tamara Lanier's request that Harvard University release daguerreotypes of her enslaved descendants, Papa Renty and Delia to the family is postponed. We will post the new date when we are notified.

Open Textbook in Library

April, 2020

Moore v. Rugg - Supreme Court Decision

Plaintiff awarded damages. Judgement relies solely on the absence of the photographed person's consent. Report dated July 1, 1890.

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February 7, 2020, CT WVIT-TV

Norwich Woman Wants Harvard to Hand Over Slave Photos of Her Ancestors

Tamara Lanier has sued Harvard in an attempt to reclaim photos of her ancestors as slaves.

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January 22, 2020, The Harvard Crimson

Harvard Students Form Coalition Supporting Slave Photo Lawsuit's Demands

An exhibit in CGIS Knafel last spring included artist Noel W. Anderson's diptych Renty By Kathryn S. Kuhar 

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June 20, 2019, USA Today

Fight over Renty and Delia, earliest photos of US slaves, sees Agassiz descendants team up against Harvard

Tamar Lanier flanked by sisters Susanna McKean Moore & Marian Shaw Moore, descendants of former Harvard professor Louis Agassiz. 

 

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March 20, 2019 - CBS Boston

Harvard 'Shamelessly' Profits From Photos Of Slaves, Lawsuit Claims

Tamara Lanier is suing Harvard University for ownership of daguerreotypes of slaves who she says are her ancestors. By Collin Binkley AP Education Writer

 

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September 29th - The New York Times

The First Photos of Enslaved People Raise Many Questions About the Ethics of Viewing

For a century, they languished in a museum attic. Fifteen wooden cases, palm-size and lined with velvet. Cocooned within are some of history’s cruelest, most contentious images — the first photographs, it is believed, of enslaved human beings. By Parul Sehgal, The New York Times

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June 27, 2020 - 6pm EST

Juneteenth Ain't Over - A Short Film and Discussion with Tamara Lanier

In a thought-provoking and candid experimental documentary, artist-scholar Rashayla Marie Brown shows how Black women, including her mother, Tamara Lanier, challenge entertainment giants and universities to gain legal rights and reparations for use of their visual identities.

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February 26, 2020, WNPR.org

Who Owns History?

When Tamara Lanier's mother died in 2010, the Norwich, CT, resident remembered a promise she made to her: to document who her ancestors were.

In 2019, Lanier sued Harvard for "wrongful seizure, possession and expropriation" of the daguerreotypes.

By Robyn Doyon-Aitken, Lucy Nalpathanchil & Ryan Caron King

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February 6, 2020

Free Renty

Forgotten in the attic for 103 years, artifacts from Harvard's sordid past open a discussion on its responsibility to social reparations.

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December 19, 2019, The Harvard Crimson

Peabody Director Proposes Increasing Public Access to Slave Photos at Center of Lawsuit

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. By Rohan W. Goel 

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June 20, 2019, CBS Boston, Boston News

Woman Suing Harvard Over Slave Photos Gets Key Support

The haunting photo of an African slave known as Papa Renty is at the center of a dispute over whether it's a personal photo belonging to the family of Tamara Lanier or Harvard University. 

 

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March 20, 2019 - New York Times

Who Should Own Photos of Slaves?  The Descendants, not Harvard, a Lawsuit Says

Tamara Lanier is suing Harvard University for ownership of daguerreotypes of slaves who she says are her ancestors. By Karsten Moran

 

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