Georgetown University became popular in the African-American community because of the highly successful basketball program.

When many African-Americans argue for reparations for slavery, they are not just arguing for payments from the United States government.

Many advocates for reparations argue that reparations should also go to the descendants of slaves who built Ivy League-type universities and corporate America.

Iman Milner of Black Enterprise reported, “Georgetown University and the Jesuits have pledged $27 million in money and land donations to the descendants of 19th-century enslaved people who were sold to fund the highly prestigious institution.”

The Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation said that the gifts include $10 million from the Washington, D.C.-based university and $17 million in financial and land donation from the Jesuits.

“These contributions from Georgetown University and the Jesuits are a clear indication of the role Jesuits and other institutions of higher education can play in supporting our mission to heal the wounds of racism in the United States, as well as a call to action for all of the Catholic Church to take meaningful steps to address the harm done through centuries of slaveholding,” said Monique Trusclair Maddox who serves as the CEO of the Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation and chair of the organization’s board of directors.

The reparations are an effort to correct the injustice done to 272 enslaved women, men and children who were sold from plantations owned by the Jesuits to settle a debt with Georgetown University.

Georgetown has a long-term goal of donating over $1 billion to the Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation.

CNN reported that the Jesuits pledged $100 million in 2021.

The foundation wants to use the funds to invest in the lifelong education of the descendants of those enslaved Americans, endow programs aimed at anti-racism advocacy and to aid elderly descendants of those enslaved.

The Washington Post said that the fund has found 13,000 (and counting) descendants.

“The thing that’s most important to descendants is that this is a unique undertaking for all of us to bring about truth and reconciliation in this country, for what the Jesuits themselves confess to being a sin against God,” said Joe Stewart, the foundation co-founder and chair emeritus.

Stewart is also a fifth-generation descendant of an enslaved man sold by the Jesuits.

Instead of pursuing a lawsuit, Stewart added, “We went straight to the Jesuits and called upon them to make a moral commitment to live up to what Catholicism has taught us.”

Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said, “It is an honor for our University to have the opportunity to contribute to their efforts. The difficult truths of our past guide us in the urgent work of seeking and supporting reconciliation in our present and future.”

Infamously, many Ivy League schools built their wealth on the backs of enslaved African-Americans.

Some of the most prestigious universities purposefully recruited the children of wealthy slaveowners so that those slaveowners would feel it necessary to bless those universities with endowments and other financial gifts.

Many of those same universities would purchase slaves themselves to handle the physical labor needed to maintain college campuses.

Furthermore, the science departments of many of these universities would use the dead bodies of enslaved African-Americans to conduct scientific experiments.

Many graduates of these elite institutions of higher learning went on to work in lucrative and power positions, while the slaves contributed to their elite status with no financial compensation.

Although affirmative action once helped minority students level the playing field after centuries of racism and oppression, many students from elite, wealthy and powerful received preferential treatment during the admission process because many of their parents graduated from those schools.

Giving preferential treatment to the children of graduates might encourage alumni to make large financial donations to their alma mater.

For that reason, many supporters of affirmative action want legacy admissions outlawed just like affirmative action because legacy admission contradicts with the notion of merit-based admission that affirmative action opponents said they wanted.

Furthermore, supporters of affirmative action use sports scholarships as another example of the contradiction of merit-based college admissions.

Many elite colleges alter their admissions standards slightly when considering granting an athletic scholarship to star high school athletes.

Often, many money-making college sports teams consist of a predominantly African-American roster.

In the 1980s, Georgetown University Hoyas men’s basketball team, led by an African-American coach John Thompson, Jr., dominated the Big East Conference and all of college basketball.

The team often was exclusively African-American and won a national championship in 1984 over University of Houston, with a team led by Patrick Ewing, David Wingate and Reggie Williams.

Not only did the African-American coach and players at Georgetown bring a national championship to the nation’s capital and millions of dollars in ticket sales and television profits, but the Hoyas were also a pop culture phenomenon in the urban community.

Wearing Hoyas apparel said something about an African-American’s consciousness to the plight of their community.

The popularity of Hoyas clothing brought in even more millions from the African-American community to the school.

In the 1990s, Georgetown University continued its pop culture relevance with star players like Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Allen Iverson.

Despite the relevance and financial windfall that Hoyas basketball players brought to the school, many of their past stars played when players could not receive financial compensation for their services.

The play-for-free model of college sports, which has virtually ended because players can now profit off their name, image and license, received the label of slavery from many who disliked the NCAA’s old business model.

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