CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -
The university presented a panel discussion Tuesday night on “Slavery at the University of Virginia.” Members of the President's Commission on Slavery and the University talked to a crowd about UVA's historic relationship with slavery.
Organizers of the event say enslaved laborers played vital roles, especially during the first decades of UVA, but little is recorded about them. Slaves laid handmade bricks and helped build the university. They also chopped wood and washed laundry, cared for white children and cooked meals for faculty and students.
"It's more than investigating the past history. It is bringing that history to life so that any person of any age will really know the history," said UVA Diversity and Equality VP Dr. Marcus Martin.
The panel also held a screening of Eduardo Montes-Bradley's documentary, “Unearthed & Understood: Slavery and the University of Virginia.”
The event was part of The University of Virginia's 2015 community celebration in honor of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.
In recent years, UVA has begun to address its historical relationship with slavery.