Written by Leah Mahon
Published on 26th April 2021
The University of Pennsylvania and the University of Princeton have faced backlash after it was discovered that the bones of two African-American children were used as “teaching tools” in the university’s Anthropology courses. The institutions are facing pressure to issue a public apology. Also, the University of Princeton did not have permission from one of the children’s family to utilize their child’s remains. The children were killed in a bombing at the headquarters of the civil and environmental rights group, MOVE, in 1985, which was authorised by the Philadelphia police force. Eleven adults and five children were killed in the bombing.
The Anthropology course is taught by Professor Janet Monge, who is an expert on bone collections and teaches at both institutions. Michael Hotchkiss, a Princeton spokesperson, has stated the university has launched an investigation on the issue and will be suspending the course.
Michael Africa Jr, a member of the MOVE organisation shared “We want a formal and public apology from Penn, Princeton and any of the anthropologists involved, and we want reparations – there has got to be some kind of restitution for this insanity.”