What is Columbia's historical relationship
to the institution of slavery?
Why did we continue the research
beyond emancipation in 1865?
Who was Zora Neale Hurston?
How did students find archival materials documenting
the legacy of slavery at Columbia after 1865?
African American students began to matriculate at Columbia in significant numbers by the 1920s, but they remain all but invisible in the university’s archival records. Learn about Zora Neale Hurston, the first black woman to attend Barnard College as well as many others More...
The research found on this website was derived from student research in the Columbia University & Slavery class. Students spent significant time with archival resources to develop the narrative. Post-1865 research material can be found here More...
We hope that this website, very much a work in progress, will contribute to public understanding of the key role slavery has played in our nation’s history and offer an example to other institutions of higher learning as they pursue their own investigations.