tv After Words CSPAN November 30, 2013 2:15pm-3:16pm EST
up next on book tv "after words" with guests as political activist and radio host a joe madison. this week craig steven wilder and his latest book "ebony and ivy" race, slavery and the troubled history of america's universities. in at the m.i.t. history chair discusses how the campuses of many elite universities were not only built by slave labor but funded by profits earned from the practice of slavery. this program is about an hour. >> host: "ebony and ivy," professor wilder, i guess the first question is, how did you start down the road and we were
laughing before you said 10 years ago when you first started you had hair. >> guest: not a lot but i had hair. >> host: what started you down the road to actually put it "ebony and ivy" together? >> guest: it's actually a long story that i can make short. i had just been moving from one job to another in a teaching position and i had just finished a book project and i started out on what i thought was going to be simple book, simple article actually. i was just going to explain how black abolitionist got their education given the fact that they were excluded by race from american colleges. i was just going to tell the story and some of them went to europe. some of them went to new england and studied privately. some of them studied privately in the atlantic and they became ministers and teachers and doctors and all sorts of things. but in fact one of the things i
got more interested in if they started that project was why they were excluded from these colleges and universities. these colleges in fact have a long history with live people on campus as enslaved people but not as students. they also had a long history with native americans and at the very time black students were excluded native american students have been on campus from 200 years. >> host: native american students have been on campus doing what? >> guest: as students. >> host: how is it that they were able to be on campuses? you write about that. >> guest: in fact that's at the beginning of the book and if you think about it the first attempts to build a college for native american students is 210 years before the first attempt to build the look college in the first native american graduate college graduates almost 200 years before the first black graduate school. the first minister ordained before the first black and that
sounds like native americans or provision in fact put of the story i tell him the book the role of the university. it's precisely the role of the university and colonialism that explains the early prisons of native americans on campuses and that role that explains how universities turn to the slave trade to fund their enterprise. >> host: when you say the conquest, from what i was reading part of the conquest was this thing of these are savages. these are people that are inferior and we have to educate them or train them or somehow make them on savage like and i'm speaking in reference to the native americans. >> guest: that belief was that that -- the belief was that the goal, the application was to bring in gospel, to bring the bible to
untutored peoples and to civilize them in that way. but in fact that's civilizing project went hand-in-hand with conquest and hand-in-hand with torit torrealba expansion in one of the things that was surprising to me as i started the book was really the quiet -- roll the colleges played in early colonial period area, great beneficiary of the american college. the american colleges and universities helps take me as a kid with a single mother raising three kids all by yourself from brooklyn new york and turned me into a college professor with tenure. >> guest: you and your sister who is an m.d.. >> guest: my sister is it easy attrition right here in d.c. and you know so i have always thought of higher education and colleges and universities as these benevolent institutions, these institutions that do good things if we can get access to them. and with the research began to expose was this other role that
universities can play. universities can be in my mind weapons of social justice but what shocked me when i started doing the research was that they could also be weapons of social destruction. >> host: and otway? >> guest: they could actually play a huge part in undermining the integrity of native american nations and civilizations. one of the things i write about in the first chapter is the desire to christianize the native people leads to several attempts to build colleges but virtually all of the early colonial colleges have as a primary mission the education of native peoples. but that has all sorts of impact on native society. it means that they are going to be generational divisions between parents and children. it means that youngsters who are brought into the christian education system are going to be tutored in english and only
happen fact the remnants of native culture in native language. >> host: in the book "ebony and ivy" you talk about the type of chasm that might hit and created an as it relates to intergenerational conflict. >> guest: i touch on it in the first chapters of the book and try to show the ways in which the early colleges actually had a very militaristic role. they were part of the goal, part of their purpose was to help achieve the strategic aims of the columnists. this is the right word. we often deploy education and we deploy schools in the colonial world to soften the resistance of native peoples to europeans. >> host: let's fast-forward to then the whole issue of slavery because the one thing that catches obviously people's attention and critics have talked about this is how the
slavery funded these college campuses. it funded and built these campuses and who were these individuals that built the harvard's, the gales, the browns? i think many of us may remember the headlines of brown university that started with a studied there. how much of that had an impact on what was then "ebony and ivy"? >> guest: it actually had a great impact. i was four or five years into this project when brown university released its report and the former president of ground courageously and in the face of great criticism and great criticism from her own constituents. >> host: her board of trustees and her alumni. >> guest: she courageously articulated the purpose of higher education which is this
didn't start free and the pursuit of all of these other arenas we also have to% truth in our own histories. the brown report meant a lot to me because i was four or five years into this project and it was a massive undertaking. it was about 2006 when i realized just how big this was, how much time is going to take and how many years it was going to take and there was a part of me that it to go forward with it. >> host: why? >> guest: it just seemed enormous and it wasn't clear that you know five years later or 10 years later i would actually be done with a coherent book of what it seemed i would have more and more information. at that time the book wasn't here in my head yet am what i feared was the amount of material that there was to go through, the number of places that i would have to go. >> host: such as? >> guest: the project took me from you know québec city in
canada to the carolinas along the east coast to scotland and england, to holland. >> host: let's start with those that are the furthest away. why scotland? i could understand england but why scotland, bring people up to an understanding. why would it look on race race slavery in the troubled history of american universities, why scotland? >> guest: it's in the sections about racial phot. scotland is a tremendous influence on the lives of colonial north america and ultimately on the united states as a nation. scottish immigrants are the largest group of free people.
>> host: is that where the word redneck came from? >> guest: this was the largest group of free people to cross the atlantic before the american revolution. they were failing in places like pennsylvania backcountry, the carolinas, westward toward kentucky towards georgia and with this enormous migration all comes of daschle also comes the scottish universities who played a key role in helping to modernize the colonial american colleges both stood spanish faculty you come to teach and scottish memories -- and loads of american students, colonial students who had to scotland to study science and medicine and then come back to north america to do things like for instance establish the first medical schools in the north american colonies, established by a american colonial students in places like new jersey and
philadelphia who would head have off to scotland. >> host: now the scottish and correct me if i'm wrong, they are one of the principle players in the slave trade bill weren't they? >> guest: they are not the usual suspects that you look at. there's a trade that comes out of scotland just like there's a trade that comes out of the small towns and we have to remember -- small towns like bristol. we have to remember how massive the slave trade is including with the book is about in many ways is actually the enormously of the african trade in the 17th and 18th centuries. the ways of the trade shape the atlantic world and that constituted the economy that connected europe to the americas to africa to south america and created in fact it transoceanic trade part of which the united states was involved with. >> host: in terms of building these campuses, who were these
founders of these universities? were the slave traders? >> guest: they are largely ministers from the various denominations. remember the colonial schools are denominational schools. so there is puritan harvard and there is baptist brown and episcopalian columbia which is then the king's college. there is the dutch reformed college which is now and there's the presbyterian college of new jersey which is now princeton. these are actually too combinational schools. they are schools that emerge out of the church communion. and then once they are established and as you establish them you need money to do it. a lot of the money, the first source of funds will be england, the columnists will turn to england.
>> guest: why would they want to run the school's? >> guest: that is one of the real problems. i jokingly described to myself is that was working, whether the english want to give the puritans money to establish a school in new england in massachusetts when in fact actually getting rid of the puritans was a great goal. so there's not necessarily warm friendly relations between the puritans and the anglican church but this is where we get a too native american history and were native americans become key. the american colonists were really quite skillful at raising money using the evangelization of native people as the goal. and so sending off missionaries are emissaries to england and raising money under the claim that they were evangelizing
native american people in the americas the first part building in harvard is the indian -- and that is where the donations are coming from. >> host: this goes back to what you are saying earlier. this allows the expansion of the colonial. >> guest: it facilitates the expansion and economic expansion and facilitates territorial expansion. then it accelerates. the crumbling of native society on the frontiers and on the borders. >> host: they are not quote unquote save -- slaveowners but eventually after independence. >> guest: even before. >> host: the dude turned to slaveholders. >> guest: they turn pretty quickly so these are religious schools to begin with and they are religious schools, very
quickly they have to figure out the sources of hunting. one source is going to be europr and raising money often under the claim that one is evangelizing native americans. the other source of money they have available to them is the pricing population of colonial elites, people who actually have money within the colonies and in particular both in england and the americas that is made up of slave traders who are operating out of places like barbados and jamaica. many of them actually live our absentee landlords who live in england and manage their plantations from afar. >> host: often sending children. sometimes as i have read the oldest male children might go to the militaries are the oldest
with interest in the americas. they began to advertise themselves actually to these classes at institutions of their own making and on design that can cater to their children more efficiently. i use several examples of this. one of the more famous as john leavitt would become the scott, a minister from scotland, becomes the president of what is now princeton university. one of the first things he does when you message country princeton shortly after. one of the chapels is named after it, in which he says the name has come to imply great wealth. then he goes on to promise that if they send their boys to princeton will be well taken care of. and guided unsupervised entering into substantial and responsible young men. but if you send them off to
england, there's british universities too large and too decentralized to give them that kind of attention. what he's really telling is the potential of the american colonies to serve themselves and the potential of the institutions cater to the needs of the colonial elite. the colonial elite is largely a product of the slave trade. slave trading merchant of large plantation owners in the caribbean and american south. >> we read across the review says most people probably will be for without getting into the meat of "ebony & ivy." we are talking with her presser craig steven wilder. the book's subtitle, "ebony & ivy: race, slavery & the troubled history of america's universities," the impression is that please both these universities, not just the money from the slave trade finance them, but was there actually the person of slaves on the universities of harvard, io,
print, brown? what capacity related to labor? >> guest: every capacity related to labor, you'd be in think people. they're often called a secluded dormitories of the colonial period. they clean up the students. they prepared meals. they collect wood. they gather wood for fires. they're in charge of lighting the candles and putting them out in the evening, cleaning them the study rooms and recitation rooms and running errands for the faculty at harvard, io, columbia, princeton many of the college president owned enslaved people and arrived on campus. within a couple years, is purchased at least two people. one for the main house and one for campus house.
>> host: were these individuals under the ownership of the university inc.? or were they under the ownership of various professors? >> guest: the problem is that this kind of a technical issue that is a little bit harder to decipher. for instance, one of the things i looked at as i was exploring the county record in which the counties look at the colonial county record, very often you have enabled the president or the name of their professor in the did with their taxable property will be in enslaved person or two or three. >> host: did students bring slaves? >> guest: students breastplates to school. when you look at the name of the president in three lines over part of the property is in lake
person. like a lost and how is for an infinite case of prince and or harbored, you'll have the president's name did go to college. who owns the person? in the common knowledge of the local area, the president and college are inseparable anyway. i didn't spend a lot of time trying to decipher that. >> it's like we see today, is a college town. >> guest: they're very much more college town friendly than they are now. >> host: cambridge to be a college town. >> guest: the tallest building. they dominate the environment. >> host: one of the things that i also found fast about
"ebony & ivy" is the talk about the slaves who built the campuses and waited on the faculty and the student. was the curriculum. this white supremacy that was perpetrated. u.s.a. history teacher, this must've driven you -- i don't know how you maintain your selection will sanity. you obviously knew this before. but to have it supported in the actual research of this quote, unquote, what we now consider institutions, teaching white supremacy. i am not trying to sound as if i'm surprised, but if you said that now about yale or harvard, you know, people with my goodness, when did they start? how did it get charted?
who started it i that because of the people whose target these universities. >> guest: it's in the source of their funding. remember, as the american revolution approaches, and tension between the colonies and england increase. the capacity to raise money and england. it is largely taken down at the end of the 17th century. they start using it. i read it in the book is as a native american military threat in new england to climb, to interest in evangelizing native americans declines with that. it's always been to some extent linked. it doesn't mean it is safe to your desire to christianized then. it was also a strategic interest in evangelizing and
christianizing. so absolutely. one of the things that happened that arrested within the book and is related to the question you asked me earlier is students bring slaves to campus? yes, they do. while they have been married to actually pay fees to house their slaves on campus. at columbia and king college. george washington comes to new york city and jackie slave. the president of colombia, kings college at the time that jackie dent has been seen as suited to his taste. show was actually in the smaller bedroom. so yes, these students arrive for slaves to campus. the faculty often have plays. but particularly the chapter
about enslaved people on campus is that in late people were in the herbal of the college. to some extent. >> guest: they're examples of days to the presidents of princeton. and becomes an extraordinarily gifted and biblical scholar to her she is consulted by biblical scholars in the parts of the night dates. and she's largely self-taught. the president who owned her gave her instructions. he instructed her in the presidents house and then she continued to study on her own as she got older. >> host: 's let me share something i highlighted. this comes from the chapter.
cotton comes to harvard. charles stalin -- first of all, who ost? the reason i bring this is the right. this feature cotton planter and they were talking about henry what junior also wrote that the ancient egyptians had the curly hair and other features of the african race and that contemporary egyptians are only lighter in complexion because of centuries of mixing with europeans and professor fall in did not leave it to his students to an her that black africans cradled civilization. this fact refute all the false so often had banned them favor slavery. expand on that case it seems to be apparently what you're saying here here, there was this calm
click. who were the egyptians? how is racism talk? who are african, who weren't africans? the reason i bring this up, this argument takes place today. >> guest: it sounds very modern. new york city in the 1990s when i was his goal. this is the argument were having all over new york city. every tableside, who is engaged in this debate for some crowd for at least a decade. it does sound very modern and it is very modern. the bit about who this is. henry watson junior is a young man easements or connecticut who goes to washington college and harvard, which is now trinity college and finishes his education at harvard. he graduates in the early 1830s at this ba from harvard and sets out on the world. the introduction to the book is largely uses henry watson junior
story. he has now to alabama and is looking to become a tutor on a plantation to make the money he can save and go to law school. the reason i find them fascinating is like a lot of young college men in the 1830s, does not represent an extraordinary field of opportunities. it is precisely the wealth of southern slaveholders, the wealth of the plantation. but it was also the educational neglect this out that created opportunities for well-educated northerners who wanted to head south to begin their career. like a lot of them, watson had planned to just go for here, make money, go back home, become an attorney. >> host: should be educated children -- >> guest: he would be working as a tutor and perhaps daughters. it was always unequal
distribution. and so, he's looking for this sort of reward. i give examples of lots of young men who make this choice after graduating the same time. a lot of them become famous like henchman philip and, who went up one of the most important professors in the history of yellow. the professors to begin the program faces when he finishes college. he's disappointed. he doesn't get this job. so he heads back home and his becoming self-conscious about getting money from his father won a fact the endeavor has proven fruitless. he heads back to connecticut. he actually does study law. and then he goes out again. he heads right back to alabama and establishes himself as a planter. over the next decade he becomes quite wealthy and quite successful. on the eve of the civil war he owns more than 100 people.
he owns more than 100 people and he is a leading voice in defense of southern slaveholders. that and the class of an abolitionist at harvard in the early 1830s. he heard folland make not just an argument, but anti-races argument. he was trying to argue that the mountain is meant that were being used to defend american slavery were nothing more than that. they were just meant. if one looked at history -- >> host: he approached this in a scholarly way? >> guest: he chose history. he chose example from science, but he largely is history and went back to the ancient egyptians and made the argument that we were often making on the street corner in the 1990s.
it does sound very modern. a falling is also an interesting year. this is a young man who had stopped or to liberalize germany and was chased out of europe, arrested for his political act as an chased of your. he comes to the united states. he has the somewhat for two with a six periods of running in two the marquee to lafayette in 1825, 1826 and lafayette is brought back. during the revolution. on the 50th anniversary of the declaration of independence, congress invites the marquee to lafayette to america's to celebrate. he went than to philadelphia calls -- not calls, the contacts his biographer at harvard. i think he is then that religion. he actually manages for an
appointment. stalin then does what he does. he goes back to political act to defend. he is teaching the young students at harvard about history, but also in fact about the contemporary issues of the society there's no greater contemporary issue in the 1830s and the question of human slavery in the americas and ultimately will be chased out of harvard for that position. the funds for his professorship will be stripped away. >> host: who chases them out of harvard? >> guest: is the trustees and the officers. if a few things, but his position on slavery is critical. that's the accelerant have really inflames the fire. >> host: at some point we do read in history and you do write about it at some point, former
slaves, african-americans are allowed to attend the harvard, dao. output point did that change? >> guest: it happens in stages at very different points. you can go all the way back actually to the revolutionary era. the first black people to come to campus this evening in what becomes the united states is probably right after the revolution. what happened is a member of president at these no longer colonial early american schools actually begin taking black students. >> host: for what reason? >> guest: it depends. the reasons are different. some of them are affected by the rhetoric of the revolution itself. a call for liberty and justice actually resonate and they begin to question slavery themselves. remember, there is actually an active anti-slavery debate
happening on american campuses in the aftermath of the american revolution. this enacted anti-slavery discussion on southern campuses in the aftermath. you know, college faculty and child student actually would debate the question of slavery quite a bit. >> host: at such universities we recognize can we talk about her at eastern university. >> guest: the university of georgia, north carolina actually has an appellation is speaker at one of the graduations. this is in the early 19th century. it's actually published this speech. it's actually circulated around the united states. >> host: are these individuals who live in slave owning state again in "ebony & ivy," you write, are they -- are the
abolitionist? or is this a free exchange of intellectual debate and discussion? >> guest: is a free exchange of debate and discussion. it's also often driven by abolitionists or people uncomfortable with the can simulation of slavery as is. and so, you know, the new york monday mission society made up largely of slaveholders and have established right at the end of the revolution begins to find an award at columbia for the best speech against slavery that actually exposed as the immorality of slavery and the slave trade. this is actually given a graduation. it is based on something that happened in england already. they're borrowing that will -- a model of subsidizing this discussion by offering a metal. so these are debates happening across the campuses. in the aftermath of the american revolution, it is because they are affected by the rhetoric of the revolution itself it does
actually now been exposed to the british anti-slave trade campaign and the extraordinary political force that represents on both sides of the atlantic. some of them have been swayed by those arguments, particularly on the question of the slave trade. there is another group who actually begin to the black americans as potentially a tool for christianizing africa. and so they begin to take on black students with the hope of preparing feminist missionaries, as though put it, sent back to africa, but to send back to africa as christian missionaries under the logic that much like native americans -- >> host: i was going to say it goes back to agree the part of this discussion. how do you christianizing native
nation. the children and then there is a second generation. >> guest: descriptors array to evangelize to be people out there one minister put it. you'd return on this adolescent and both do the work of evangelizing them. >> host: as you're talking, i am just curious, once again i'll use the term, a chasm between older black and younger educated blacks who are being educated up for other purposes -- you understand where i'm trying to go with this? you know, we often have this argument even today.
well, you're just a tool. that is really what i'm getting at. they discussed that in "ebony & ivy." were these educated african-americans tools? did they know they were being tools? >> guest: i try to be careful with native americans who received the education in the way that i talk about them. i try to be cautious. because in fact, for instance, with native americans, during king philip's wife 75 to new england, king philip's is the indian resistance campaign that emerges after 1675 with english caulking phillips. it's a combination of native nation's again the english. it almost hunkers christian new england. it comes very close. without some external help and
some good luck. christian new england might have fallen. serving with king philip, two or three people educated at harvard. and so that is also true two centuries later as we begin to take young black men, young black women in repair them for these various rules. very often actually, those educations become radicalized. not necessarily the civilized one that the benefit or is imagined. the capacity of people of color to use their education, to pursue their own and to pursue the liberating -- an outcome of the project of liberating their people. shouldn't be ignored or swept under the rug. we actually have to pay
attention to that. i'm careful of the book not to make this argument is education only succeeded. to say that we could use education strategically is one thing. in fact, native american and african-american find loads of examples of people who took this education and turned them to radical emancipatory purposes among their own -- within their communities. >> host: button in your research 10 years ago for a miss. 10 years. when you first started with this concept that is turned into "ebony & ivy" and again dr. craig steven wilder, fascinating read on this. i am just curious if this would be required reading for your students at m.i.t. >> guest: i've never asked the students to buy any book that i've written. >> host: you are very unique.
>> guest: i'm standing there. i can tell them what's in it. >> host: was there anything as in his door and? was there anything that just surprise you as you are researching and writing "ebony & ivy"? but just to this day if i were sued in your class and would ask that question, professor wilder, what really caught your attention? what really took with you, surprised you? >> guest: honestly, the thing that i wrestled with the most as i was writing the book and this is rooted in my own experience is as a black man growing up in the united states in the air that i did was how to balance these historical narratives of different groups of people. once you take up the topic of
colleges in the topic of colleges and slavery, it seemed to me that it would be a less than honest telling of the story if i didn't actually explain the relationship between these colleges and native american nations. the story doesn't make sense. for instance, in the colonial period, you can't tell the story of how these colleges got involved in the slave trade in how the trustees ended up becoming slave traders and how they created these cozy relationships to painters in the south and west and east. the slave traders in the northeast and europe, why they cultivated this class of people so aggressively for so long. the story doesn't ultimately make sense unless you actually look west. and you think about the ambition of the colonial project.
west of the east coast. you actually think about a native american nation online i want the boundary between the colonies and indian country is that often gets called. so i felt to tell the story well, i actually had to become a student of native american history. >> host: when we think dr. wilder, native americans, and what you're just telling us, the common historical thought that we are often taught is that native americans did not make good slaves. but you do talk about them being enslaved. so is that a myth? is that a myth and a fallacy? >> guest: we've got all sorts of myths about native people. if you think about native
slavery, there is an enormous trade and native people in the colonial america and the carolina as one historian has pointed out. you know, south carolina, north carolina are created by two slave trades. it is a trade and enslaved africans being brought into the carolinas and a trading conquered and enslaved native people of these doled out by the carolinas. into the caribbean and also up to canada. and so, nutrient of the 17th 17th century on from eastern canada had been a healthy and receptive market for native people enslaved in moore's throughout the americas. native people are often enslaved and sold into the caribbean. so we have a lot at this making about slavery. the thing that surprised me the most -- >> guest: that's a surprise me the most.
i'm so glad we have a chance to discuss that because it is the common often expressed in casual, historical conversations, the reason blacks are africans were brought here because native americans simply didn't make us slaves. he ran away, disappeared into the western wilderness. just go the other part is the enormous death rate, the extraordinary mortality rate among native people to the new diseases in the first hundred years. in fact, actually none of that came from enslaving native people. that's a lesson we should take away. not a single one of those factors from captured, enslaving a philly native people into bondage in other parts of the americas and trading enslaved people. they are college campuses here in north america on faculty and officers of colleges. i list some of them in the book.
>> host: i want to make sure reemphasized that. as people get into "ebony & ivy," they might start paying when are we getting to the african slave pkwy. c-span a great deal of time as you say practicing the relationship of africans and slavery with what happened prior to africans being, in assets, private lavery. this is the other question as we start to wrap a. there will be those then who will read "ebony & ivy." i also have this sense, correct me if i am wrong, professor, that this is almost two books in one. i mentioned that earlier. it is the foot notes, i tend to turn to how people come up with narratives that they write about. it is just amazing.
you've done that on purpose so that it can researchers, historians can see where you got this information and expand upon it. >> guest: my goal was to take a difficult topic and made it accessible, to make it readable unapproachable. now there's also another public that i pray for, which are academics and people doing research in this field. i wanted to provide them with an accurate map and source that they could to help a longer project from the work they've been publishing has certainly helped me in this project. >> host: i'd be remiss if i didn't ask you about your own if you two should come at m.i.t. tesco they show up at the end of the book. the rest of the tech engineering colleges and universities in the decades before the civil war which is influenced by the
you need scientists and engineers and we begin investing as one historian put it razing whole towns along the sort of riverbanks where we can actually do large manufacturing. >> host: there would also be those who would finish reading "ebony and ivy" and asked the question do these universities mentioned the word reparations and i don't know if that is your next book or how that discussion comes up. or if it comes up in your classroom because that might be the thought process that some people may end up with and what are your thoughts? >> guest: i would have to go back to what we are talking about a few minutes ago about the most surprising thing. one of the things i learned in doing this book is that history
is not a race to see who is worse off. and who is the most oppressed. part of the reason i wanted to blend together the stories of -- and the histories of native americans with african-americans with european christians was to actually get to the truth, to the facts, to the details of what happened in to explain them as accurately and as carefully as i could. i see my job as a historian not to avoid difficult topics but to use different topics. my task is to take readers through that to help them, to guide them through difficult moments in our history. now there are consequences to doing that. there are consequences were these universities. >> host: such as? >> guest: at round, brown has begun to initiate and implement the recommendations from the brown committee in 2006 and
weighs of in which brown can actually reconcile its current reality with its history. >> host: and remind people of today what were some of them? >> guest: there was a new center that was established on campus in a decision to make more aggressive investment in financial aid and scholarship money and to just be practiced, to actually recommit to a diverse campus, a campus that recognizes education can be a tool of social justice. at william and mary there has been movement in that same direction. there has been an exhibit on the campus and at the university of alabama there was a faculty statement about the history of institution with slavery. i think that's actually in some ways the right notion. i don't have a prescription for all the universities that i write about in this book. i do think universities have to engage their own histories and i
recognize that there are consequences. >> host: you stated that universities have to engage and the hook again is "ebony and ivy", race, slavery and the troubled history of america's universities. engage them and then deal with their own consequences is what i think i heard you say. that should be left up to the universities. >> guest: it's actually about the students. it's about the alumni. it's a conversation that needs to happen on campus but it's also about the surrounding area. >> host: surrounding meaning? >> guest: the cities and towns in which they live. in other words i think the solution for yale is different than the solution for william and mary. >> host: or for cambridge. >> guest: or for cambridge.
we are grappling with a troubled history of the american university in recognizing the history of the american -- universities didn't and with this book. one of the things of that in the book and it did on purpose is i stopped the bus -- the book in the 1830s because i want to get the reader to the point where they can see the modern university emerging without necessarily spending another 10 years telling the story. >> host: at m.i.t. and you being a professor at m.i.t. scientific racism. just he, what do you say in the book? what is scientific racism? >> guest: there are a few chapters in the book were right about the emergence of race in science, within science and one of the things that i argue is that not only does science pick one of the key ways for establishing the legitimacy of racial thought in the racial
defense of slavery. >> host: in essence what i be correct in saying white supremacy? >> guest: i would argue the racial defense of slavery, the idea that african people are inherently inferior and created or prepared by nature for a certain level of humanity. and for certain level of treatment. prepared by nature for that existence. that idea pre-existing rights of the scientific academy of north america but it gets co-opted by science area and in many ways science becomes one of the key areas for defending race and defending the injustices of modern slavery? i write about that for a few reasons. one of the key ones is that's the path that allows
universities to merge by the 1830s as independent actors in the political sphere. it's actually precisely the ability of university faculty and officers to argue in defense of slavery that creates space in the public sphere. >> host: the debate i assume because it is the university and they are at the center of learning, so therefore what more appropriate place to take place and validate this racist science or raise science you're talking about? >> guest: the prestige of university rises with race and race creates the prestige of the university. race unfettered universities and if your member at the beginning of our conversation you remember these are denominational schools. they break free of the church in the 19th century. >> host: the universities do.
>> guest: largely because they now have the capacity through science to make secular ordinance. >> host: they start with nonsecular funding and support and then as they progress and become more influential but break free of that and align themselves with this pseudo-science. and mi fair to say pseudo-science? >> guest: one of the key elements in the 19th century was the rise of racial science and it creates a new public christie jin universities. the modern university is founded exactly that moment in one of the things i would argue that is the question of reparations and social justice and all that is we have to remember the troubled history of the american university doesn't end with it. it continues in the 20th century because the same racial concepts come to justify all sorts of new brutalities in the modern world and we shouldn't
forget that a lot of those ideas didn't have their origins on campus but they got their legitimacy on campus. they got refined on campus. they got validated on campus. they got modernized on campus and they got their political and social prestige on campus. >> host: is there another 10 years maybe? to go from 1834? >> guest: whoever wants so i will help them every step of the way. the young person with a full head of hair who wants that project that will help them every step of the way. >> host: amazing. to say it's a page-turner doesn't do it justice and i encourage everyone to please read this look and i started off making sure that people understood the this is not a textbook. this is not a textbook.
this is an excellent chronological experience at universities we hear so much about and it's really their history. it's their history from the beginning to where they are now. i do hope you will spend another 10 years doing it because you do this one justice. we really appreciate you being here. the book is "ebony and ivy" and professor craig steven wilder. you have my most admiration as a student requirement. >> guest: i hope my colleagues have their students by it. >> host: thank you so much for being here. a great book, "ebony and ivy."
nixon interview from booktv's visit to the hoover institution on the campus of stanford university. sub two sat down with us to talk about his latest book "intellectuals and race" in which he look at the ways intellectuals have influenced our thinking on race over the past century. this is part of booktv's college series. >> host: joining us on both tv is dr. thomas sowell of the hoover institution at stanford university. dr. sold the most recent book "intellectuals and race", how do
you define an intellectual? >> guest: someone who's and product his ideas and ideas whose validation is through peer consensus rather than by any particular established institution. in other words they chemists might be intellectual because their objective rules for which you can judge his work or a mathematician are an engineer but if you are a deconstruction is the only test is for the other deconstructionist to like what you are doing. >> host: doesn't matter what popular opinion says about your work? >> guest: no. >> host: why not? >> guest: their whole career and self-esteem and all that comes from their peers so it doesn't matter. some take great pride in being out of step. >> host: are you an intellectual? >> guest: i suppose you would have to say that. since my work and then ideas and people like them or don't like
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