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Now and Forever Windows by Kerry James Marshall courtesy The National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
Confronting History: Religious Institutions and Slavery
November 09, 2023
We look at one of the thorniest issues confronting contemporary America – how to reconcile our history of slavery with our present.
Rachel L. Swarns
Rachel L. Swarns on “The 272” November 10, 2023
In 1838, American Jesuits were in a bind. Their flagship institution, Georgetown University, was deep in debt. Their solution was to sell 272 men, women, and children owned by the order and use the proceeds to pay off the debt and expand their mission. As journalist Rachel L. Swarns shows in her new book, “The 272,” the sale had vast repercussions, not only for the enslaved but for American Catholicism itself – repercussions both groups are only beginning to understand and grapple with.

The 272
Random House
Kevin Eckstrom-courtesy National Cathedral
Now and Forever: The National Cathedral Replaces Confederate Flag Windows November 09, 2023
In the 1950s, the still-unfinished National Cathedral, which relied entirely on donations, agreed to let the Daughters of the Confederacy pay for two stained glass windows with images of the Confederate flag, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Forgotten for 70 years, the Cathedral was compelled to replace the windows following a spate of racial incidents, including Charlottesville’s “Unite the Right” rally and the hate-inspired murder of nine people at Charleston’s Mother Emanuel AME Church. The Cathedral’s Kevin Eckstrom details the process that led to the windows’ removal and replacement this fall with windows by acclaimed artist Kerry James Marshall.