Yale Janitor’s Act of Civil Disobedience a Stand Against Racism

Year after year, as he meticulously swept the dining hall floors at Yale University, Corey Menafee passed beneath the stained glass window depicting African American slaves carrying bales of cotton in a snowy white cotton field.

And year after year, as black students protested the window’s presence and the school refused to remove it, Menafee kept his head down and just kept on sweeping. His job as a maintenance worker in the school’s Calhoun College, named after former Vice President John C. Calhoun who advocated for slavery, depended on it.

Then one day, Menafee said he just decided he couldn’t take it anymore.