Eric Foner and Danielle Allen Discuss Princeton’s Slavery Legacy
Princeton is a perpetual living museum whose candid history can illuminate not just the past, but the times in which we live, said Eric Foner and Danielle Allen ’93 in a panel discussion on “The Princeton & Slavery Project: How It Changes Our Understanding of American History and Poses a Challenge to Historical Commemoration.”
Allen, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard, said that the University and its peer institutions tend to view their tourists as prospective students and present their history from an admissions and recruiting point of view. She argued, however, that as living museums for the country, these institutions are charged, beyond their local responsibility to students, with applying correct historical standards to their work.
Foner, a history professor at Columbia, added that Princeton’s commemoration of such a history in the Princeton & Slavery Project was truly in the nation’s service, encouraging the real historical practice of critical inquiry in a time when “fake history is emanating from the highest offices in the land.”