For profiting on earliest known photographs of African-American slaves Harvard University sued
Mar 22, 2019 04:18 PM EDT
Harvard University was sued Wednesday for allegedly profiting on the earliest known photographs of African-American slaves.
In the complaint, plaintiff Tamara Lanier alleges that the slaves depicted in the daguerreotypes (early photographs) known only as "Renty" and "Delia" are her ancestors. Lanier outlines a rich oral history preserved in her family leading back to "Renty." Lanier describes the conduct and content of the photographs taken in 1850 wherein "Renty" and "Delia" were made to pose naked against their will at the request Louis Agassiz, a renowned Harvard professor. Lanier alleges that Agassiz took these photographs and used them to lecture and promote the inferiority of African-Americans.