Monday, December 11, 2023

Graffiti marking William & Mary’s slave-owning past found on campus
Yates Hall. (WYDaily/Courtesy William & Mary)

William & Mary is investigating racially charged graffiti left on two residence halls this week.

Graffiti noting the college’s slave-owning past were left on Yates Hall and in front of Gooch Hall, according to William & Mary Police.

Graffiti messages saying “Still built by slaves,” “Slaves built ur bed” and “Still uses slave labor” were found Aug. 24 and 27.

The vandalism has since been cleaned up, W&M Police spokeswoman Suzanne Clavet said. The incident remains under investigation.

“As an institution, we encourage and welcome open and honest conversations about difficult topics,” William & Mary said in a statement. “This includes both understanding and acknowledging W&M’s complicated past and addressing candidly concerns related to slavery, social justice issues or current events. But damage to or destruction of property, particularly graffiti on our buildings, is not an acceptable form of expression.”

Clavet said the graffiti happened before the college announced plans to solicit ideas for a monument honoring African American slaves owned by the college.

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