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Report: VCU Medical School Depended on Slavery

January 9, 2023

The medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University depended on and profited from slavery, according to a report commissioned by the university, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

The medical college was “intimately connected” to the institution of slavery in the mid-1800s, according to the report.

Each year, the college owned or rented enslaved people who cooked food, cleaned classrooms, laundered clothes, stoked furnaces and maintained buildings.

The report called the use of enslaved workers a “sad and troubling chapter” in the history of VCU’s medical college. The report was a response to a state law passed in 2021 that required VCU and four other colleges to examine the extent to which slavery impacted their institutions, to commemorate the enslaved people’s lives and to form a response.

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