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Penn Students Replace Portrait Of Shakespeare With Audre Lorde

Students at University of Pennsylvania’s English decided to speed up efforts to add some diversity to its walls. That’s when English professor and Department Chair Jed Esty was shocked to discover a large portrait of William Shakespeare sitting in his office reports The Daily Pennsylvanian.

A group of students removed the iconic portrait from the walls of Fisher- Bennett Hall and delivered it to Esty’s office after an English Department town hall meeting discussing the election, which took place on Thursday, December 1. They replaced it with a photo of Audre Lorde, a black female writer.

“Students removed the Shakespeare portrait and delivered it to my office as a way of affirming their commitment to a more inclusive mission for the English department,” Esty wrote in the email. He added that the image of Lorde will remain until the department reaches a decision about what to do with the space.

Audre Lorde was known as a popular civil rights activist, poet, feminist, and distinguished leader. Do you think the portrait of Shakespeare should have been removed?



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