Faith Ringgold and Barbara Earl Thomas created stained-glass windows at Yale addressing the university’s ties to racist practices

The Art Newspaper

For 84 years, one of Yale University’s residential colleges was named for former US vice-president John C. Calhoun, a Yale graduate who was an ardent supporter of slavery. But in July 2017, in a turnabout, the school officially dropped Calhoum's name, denouncing him as a white supremacist, and elected to instead honour another ulumnus, the pioneering computer scientist and mathematician Grace Murray Hopper.
The name change occured amid a multi-year reckoning with Calhoun's legacy that came to a head in 2016 when Corey Menafee, a Black dining-hall worker, smashed a stained-glass window in the college that depicted enslaved people picking cotton—one of several in a series that glorified the antebellum South. Now, following lengthy discussions about the college’s history, present and future, the university has permanently replaced a dozen windows in the building with ones designed by artists Faith Ringgold and Barbara Earl Thomas.

October 28, 2022