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Court ruling Harvard could be sued for pain over slave photography

US universities are working on a relationship with slavery

Women in Connecticut She says the descendants of slaves depicted in publicly available historic photographs owned by Harvard University can complain of emotional distress. The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The Supreme Court of the State parted in a lower court ruling thatdismissed Tamaralanier's complaintover a photo she said portrayed the ancestors of slaves. I disabled it. These images are considered some of the earliest representations of enslaved people in the United States. And certainly the pain of reckless mental distress from Harvard, "and remanded that part of their claim to the State High Court.

However, the High Court upheld the lower court's ruling that the photo was the property of the photographer who took the photo, not the subject itself. did.

"Therefore, the descendants of a person whose caricature is reproduced in a daguerreotype do not inherit any property rights to that daguerreotype," the High Court wrote in a judgment.

Lanier's lawyer shows that Thursday's ruling was the first time the court ruled that the descendants of enslaved people could be held accountable for what their ancestors endured. It's a historic victory. "

"The Massachusetts Supreme Court is pleased with the historic ruling in Tamara Lanier's proceedings against Harvard University on the grounds of the horrific exploitation of its black ancestors. You can defend your memory. Of Lenti. " "It is a great pride to continue this legal and moral battle for justice against Harvard. They cause Tamara Lanier, her ancestors, and people of all other colors exploited by their institutions. We aim to repair the damage and deterioration that we have done. "

Harvard University spokeswoman Rachel Dane said the university is considering a decision. She also emphasized that the original daguerreotype was archived, not on display, and has not been rented to other museums for more than 15 years due to its vulnerability.

"Harvard continues to work on its historic connection to slavery and sees this investigation as part of its core academic mission," she said in her statement. .. "Harvard also strives to be the ethical administrator of millions of historic buildings around the world within the collections of museums and libraries."

Submitted in 2019. Lanier's case, which was, deals with a series of 1850 Dageleotypes indepicting a South Carolina man, Renty Taylor, and his daughter, Delia Taylor.

Both posed shirtless and were taken from different angles with images commissioned by Harvard biologist Louis Agassiz. Louis Agassiz's theory of racial differences was used to support slavery in the United States.

In herproceedings, Lanier claimed that Taylors were her ancestors and that the photographs were taken against their will. She requested a photo from Harvard, saying that the school used the portrait for profit.

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