An Unfortunate History

Though Janet, Karen and Lynn were the first African Americans to attend the school while living residentially on campus, the legacy of African Americans at William & Mary precedes their first days on campus. William & Mary’s history is marked by slavery, secession, Jim Crow, segregation and Massive Resistance. It was not until 2009, after resolutions by both students and faculty called for further investigation into the institution’s history, that the Board of Visitors admitted that the College of William & Mary  “owned and exploited slave labor from its founding to the Civil War; and that it had failed to take a stand against segregation during the Jim Crow Era.”