An African-American woman sued Harvard University on Wednesday to give her ownership of photographs of her enslaved family members that the school has financially profited from for more than a century.
See Also: Harvard Acknowledges Its Role In Slavery
Tamara Lanier said she’s the great-great-great granddaughter of a man in several of the photographs named Congo Renty, who has become an iconic image in America’s brutal history with slavery.
Lanier accused Harvard of the wrongful seizure, possession and monetization of the images. She’s seeking the return of the images to her family, as well as damages from Harvard for its repeated use of the images in recent years.
She claimed that the university has been ignoring her requests to “stop licensing the pictures for the university’s profit” and misrepresenting the ancestor she calls “Papa Renty.”
“For years, Papa Renty’s slave owners profited from his suffering – it’s time for Harvard to stop doing the same thing to our family,” Lanier told USA Today.
Here’s what Lanier’s lawyer Ben Crump had to say.
This is a developing story that will be updated.
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