Derecka Purnell was one of the first Harvard law students to see the black tape placed over about six portraits of Harvard Law School’s tenured black faculty Wednesday morning. “I was surprised to see it ...” Purnell said, before reconsidering: “Actually, I wasn’t surprised at all.”Police Investigate Vandalism on Portraits of Black Law Professors | News | The Harvard Crimson
The incident comes at a moment when, nationwide, college students are demanding action against the entrenched white supremacy and racism they say still pervades campus life. Even at elite liberal universities such as Harvard – places where some might believe that racist symbols and behavior are a relic of the past – these discussions and protests persist.
And it’s working. In response to student demands, administrators at Princeton University announced Friday that they would consider renaming a dormitory currently named for former US president Woodrow Wilson, based on his well-documented racist views.
Tape Found Over Portraits of Black Harvard Professors - The New York Times
Law School students and teachers who walked into Harvard’s Wasserstein Hall on Thursday morning found pieces of black tape covering some of the faculty portraits that hang on walls inside the building—specifically on the faces of black professors depicted there.
Photos of black Law School professors were covered by pieces of
black tape on Thursday morning at Wasserstein Hall.
Courtesy of Elizabeth R. Tuttle
The incident prompted outrage from Law School students who were quick to condemn it as racist vandalism, and police are now investigating.
Harvard University Police Department spokesperson Steven G. Catalano said Thursday evening that the investigation is “active and ongoing,” and although he declined to comment further, Law School Dean Martha L. Minow wrote in a statement that police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Black slashes of tape appeared across the portraits of some African-American professors at Harvard Law School on Thursday morning, outraging students and faculty members and touching off a day of discussion about racial injustice at the school.In a statement, the school’s dean, Martha Minow, said that the portraits, which appeared on walls inside the building, had been “defaced” and that the Harvard University Police Department was investigating the incident as a hate crime.“This is my portrait at Harvard Law School,” wrote Professor Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., on his Twitter account, along with a photograph of his portrait, with a wide piece of gaffer’s tape placed diagonally across his face.