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Georgetown sets date to rename buildings honoring a slave, black teacher


  • Mulledy Hall, also known as Freedom Hall, center, is seen on the campus of Georgetown University April 4. The building will be renamed after Isaac Hawkins, the first enslaved person listed in the Jesuit university's documents on its selling of slaves. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
  • McSherry Hall, also known as Remembrance Hall, is seen on the campus of Georgetown University April 4. The building will be renamed after Anne Marie Becraft, a teacher and free woman of color who established one of the first schools for black girls in the District of Columbia. She later joined the Oblate Sisters of Providence. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
  • Mulledy Hall, also known as Freedom Hall, left, is seen on the campus of Georgetown University April 4. The building will be renamed after Isaac Hawkins, the first enslaved person listed in the Jesuit university's documents on its selling of slaves. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
  • McSherry Hall, also known as Remembrance Hall, left, is seen on the campus of Georgetown University April 4. The building will be renamed after Anne Marie Becraft, a teacher and free woman of color who established one of the first schools for black girls in the District of Columbia. She later joined the Oblate Sisters of Providence. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
  • McSherry Hall, also known as Remembrance Hall, is seen on the campus of Georgetown University April 4. The building will be renamed after Anne Marie Becraft, a teacher and free woman of color who established one of the first schools for black girls in the District of Columbia. She later joined the Oblate Sisters of Providence. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
  • Mulledy Hall, also known as Freedom Hall, right, is seen on the campus of Georgetown University April 4. The building will be renamed after Isaac Hawkins, the first enslaved person listed in the Jesuit university's documents on its selling of slaves. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Georgetown University has chosen April 18 as the date to rename two buildings on campus previously named for priests who sold 272 women, children and men into slavery for financial gain in 1838.

The Jesuit university based in Washington announced that the process will begin with a spiritual ceremony honoring the slaves prior to the dedication of buildings originally named after Jesuit Father Thomas Mulledy, the Georgetown president who authorized the transaction, and Jesuit Father William McSherry, who also was involved in the 1838 sale and in other slave sales.

Mulledy Hall will be renamed after Isaac Hawkins, the first enslaved person listed in the sale documents. McSherry Hall will be named after Anne Marie Becraft, a teacher and free woman of color who established one of the first schools for black girls in the District of Columbia. She later joined the Oblate Sisters of Providence.

The event is set to take place the day after the District of Columbia marks Emancipation Day, which celebrates the emancipation of slaves in Washington April 16, 1862. This year, the local holiday was moved to April 17 because the actual day falls on Easter Sunday.

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