Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Harvard must face lawsuit over 'horrific' slave photos -Massachusetts court

World Jun 23, 2022 06:46PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Tamara Lanier looks up as she walks with attorney Ben Crump (C) after speaking to the media about a lawsuit accusing Harvard University of the monetization of photographic images of her great-great-great grandfather, an enslaved African man na 2/2

By Nate Raymond

BOSTON (Reuters) -Massachusetts' highest court on Thursday ruled that Harvard University can be sued for mistreating a descendant of slaves who were forced to be photographed in 1850 for a study by a professor trying to prove the inferiority of Black people.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled https://tmsnrt.rs/3xH6fPa Harvard's "horrific, historic role" in creating the images meant it had a duty to respond carefully to Tamara Lanier's requests for information about them, which she said the university failed to do.

But the court said the Ivy League school does not need to hand over the photos to Lanier, concluding that despite the "egregious" circumstances the Connecticut woman had no rightful property interest in them.

The decision partially revives a lawsuit she filed in 2019. Lanier and her attorneys, Ben Crump and Josh Koskoff, in a joint statement said the "historic" ruling would allow her to "continue this legal and moral battle for justice."

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Harvard said it was reviewing the decision.

The images depict Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, slaves on a South Carolina plantation who were forced to disrobe for photos taken for a racist study by Harvard Professor Louis Agassiz.

Justice Scott Kafker wrote that Harvard had "cavalierly" dismissed Lanier's claims of an ancestral link and disregarded her requests for information about how it was using the images, including when the school used Renty's image on a book cover.

Kafker said Harvard's conduct meant a jury could reasonably determine it recklessly caused Lanier to suffer emotional distress through its "extreme and outrageous conduct."

"Harvard's past complicity in the repugnant actions by which the daguerreotypes were produced informs its present responsibilities to the descendants of the individuals coerced into having their half-naked images captured in the daguerreotypes," he wrote.

Justice Elspeth Cypher, in a concurring opinion, proposed a new legal claim Lanier could pursue to recover the images, saying her allegations if proven "demand a full remedy and nothing less."

Harvard must face lawsuit over 'horrific' slave photos -Massachusetts court
 

Related Articles

Russian forces pound Ukraine's Donetsk region
Russian forces pound Ukraine's Donetsk region By Reuters - Aug 15, 2022

By Natalia Zinets KYIV (Reuters) - Ukrainian forces reported heavy Russian shelling and attempts to advance on several towns in the eastern region of Donetsk that has become a key...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email