She confronted the church’s role in slavery—and reconciled her faith
After this Catholic’s discovery about the past, she spoke truth to power and faith.
In 2016 news broke that in 1838 Jesuits from Maryland sold nearly 300 slaves to help pay off debts for Georgetown University (then Georgetown College). While the revelation shocked the Georgetown and wider Catholic communities, Dr. Onita Estes-Hicks, a cradle Catholic from New Orleans and beloved former professor from the State University of New York (SUNY), was not fazed. She had known about the slave sale for more than a decade.
Nace and Biby Butler and their 12 children, all sold in 1838 by the Jesuits, were Estes-Hicks’ paternal ancestors.