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BOV resolution on the 'Lemon Project'

The following is a resolution that was passed by William & Mary's Board of Visitors in April 2009 concerning the "Lemon Project." - Ed.


The Lemon Project: A Journey of Reconciliation

WHEREAS, the College of William and Mary acknowledges that it owned and exploited slave labor from its founding to the Civil War; and

WHEREAS, the College acknowledges that it engaged in the discrimination and exclusion that characterized educational institutions during the era of Jim Crow and disfranchisement and that it failed to challenge these hurtful policies; and

WHEREAS, the legacy of that era has encumbered the College's relationships with the Williamsburg and Peninsular African American community, many of whom are descendents of antebellum slaves and many more of whom have worked for or attended the College since that time; and

WHEREAS, as a preeminent institution of higher learning we are dedicated to understanding the truth of our past and the impact that past may have had on us and on the community; and

WHEREAS, only of late have we learned of an African American named Lemon who was owned by the College during the late 18th and early 19th century, served it well, and, remarkably, carved out a life of his own in Williamsburg.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Board of Visitors of the College of William and Mary heartily supports the creation of the Lemon Project: A Journey of Reconciliation that will be a long-term research project under the sponsorship of the Office of the Provost, involving College faculty, staff, and students as well as members of the Greater Williamsburg community, to better understand, chronicle, and preserve the history of blacks at the College and in the community and to promote a deeper understanding of the indebtedness of the College to the work and support of its diverse neighbors.