In 2017, the Commission on Race and Slavery was formed to investigate and acknowledge Davidson College’s history with slavery and race as well as its historical relationships with Black communities. Chaired by the Honorable Anthony R. Foxx ’93, the commission offered several recommendations for guiding the college toward the goal of true equity and inclusion on our campus. In addition to a formal apology, Davidson College has several ongoing initiatives including (among others): teaching, research, scholarship, educational exhibitions, public events and other means of community engagement, college-created media content and permanent recognition of these aspects of our history of Race, Slavery, and Reconciliation.

Enrolled primarily in Dr. Hilary Green’s courses, students researched campus history and presented their findings here on the legacies of slavery at the college and among its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. In terms of memorials, this site does not merely look at buildings and traditional monuments. Rather, it takes seriously the contributions of African American employees and their memorials often created in death as part of the campus legacy. Headstones were often placed with the support of the families as well as Davidson campus community in one of the three historic Black cemeteries in Davidson, Cornelius, and Mooresville. This project is part of the ongoing research efforts to understand Davidson College’s complex racial past of slavery and its afterlives.