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Author Rachel Swarns onThe 272: The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church

Thursday, October 12, 2023, 5:307 p.m.

Duane Library, Tognino Hall, 2nd Floor
441 East Fordham Road
Bronx, NY 10458
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Rachel Swarns will discuss her new book, The 272, which follows one family through nearly two centuries of indentured servitude and enslavement to illuminate the harrowing origin story of Georgetown University and the Catholic Church in the United States. Through the saga of the Mahoney family, Swarns illustrates how the Church relied on slave labor and slave sales in Maryland to sustain its operations and to help finance its expansion. Torn apart by a Jesuit slave sale in 1838 and reunited by Swarns’ reporting in 2016, the Mahoney descendants have joined other GU272 descendants who have pressed Georgetown and the Catholic Church to make amends, prodding the institutions to break new ground in the movement for reparations and reconciliation in America.

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