When Tuajuanda Jordan first saw the newest addition to her college campus – a haunting memorial to enslaved people who lived, labored and died there – she stood and wept.
“So it’s a good thing that there weren’t many people around,” the president of St Mary’s College of Maryland says. “There was a photographer who has a photo of me and she’s behind me and my reflection is coming out of the steel and you can see the anguish on my face. It does its job.”
With the dedication of the Commemorative to Enslaved Peoples of Southern Maryland set for Saturday, one small public liberal arts college will be making a big statement about confronting its physical association with slavery. It will also be throwing down the gauntlet to other educational institutions to grapple with their own uncomfortable legacies.
Founded in 1840, St Mary’s has about 1,500 undergraduates, of whom