On the Issues: Prof. Craig Steven Wilder


Prof. Craig Steven Wilder, author of Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities— A professor of history and head of the history faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Craig Steven Wilder’s powerful and provocative new book examines the role that slavery played in some of America’s most revered colleges and universities. “The academy never stood apart from American slavery,” Wilder writes in the book. “In fact, it stood beside church and state as the third pillar of a civilization built on bondage.” Wilder also argues that the academy helped develop and perpetuate scientific racism—a pseudoscience meant to prove that certain racial groups were inferior. In addition to Ebony and Ivy, Wilder is the author of two other books: In the Company of Black Men and A Covenant with Color. He has advised and appeared in numerous historical documentaries, and directed or advised exhibits at regional and national museums. He is also a senior fellow at the Bard Prison Initiative, which helps men and women incarcerated in New York State prisons acquire a college education. Prof. Wilder is the latest notable American author to be featured in the Law School’s On the Issues conversation series.


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