Thursday, March 21, 2019

Walter Block on Harvard's Slave Pictures

Tamara Lanier, of Norwich, Connecticut, is suing Harvard University for “wrongful seizure, possession and expropriation” of images she says depict two of her ancestors who were slaves. I asked Dr. Walter Block for his view on the matter. Below is his reply.

Dear Bob:
Wow. Fascinating. But these are just pictures, right? If I take a pic of you, with my camera, my paper, whatever, I own the pic of you, you don’t own it, right? 
It is like when I see you, I own thevision of you. Heck, my vision of you is better than your vision of yourself, since I can see your entire person, well, the front. I can see your face, you can’t, unless you get a mirror. 
Best regards, 
Walter E. Block, Ph.D. Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics Loyola University New Orleans


  1. Replies
    1. You can sue for pretty much anything. Doesn't mean you're going to win. Plus, there is such a thing as a frivolous lawsuit and she may end up paying for Harvard's lawyer fees.