How to: Reparations from Various Sources
And Strategies for Making Amends:
By Zack Linly,
On Juneteenth in 2019, lawmakers met with Black activists and scholars to discuss H.R. 40—a bill to create a reparations commission to examine the impact of slavery and the possibility of compensation for the descendants of enslaved Africans—during a hearing by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. …
So H.R. 40 still has an uphill battle in its journey to congressional approval—and it’s worth the reminder that this isn’t even a bill that promises reparations, but one that allows a commission to examine the possibility of reparations—so we just have to hope that America is truly ready for a racial reckoning that says “I’m sorry” with actual restitution.
We Absolutely Could Give Reparations To Black People. Here’s How.
A step-by-step guide to paying the descendants of enslaved Africans.
By Julia Craven
Simply put, reparations are due to the millions of black Americans whose families have endured generations of discrimination in the United States. Most black Americans count among their ancestors people who endured chattel slavery, the ultimate denial of an individual’s humanity.
William Darity, a public policy professor at Duke University who has studied reparations extensively, proposes two specific requirements for eligibility to receive a payout. First, at least 10 years before the onset of a reparations program, an individual must have self-identified on a census form or other formal document as black, African-American, colored or Negro. Second, each individual must provide proof of an ancestor who was enslaved in the U.S.
The Case for Reparations
Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.
Story by Ta-Nehisi Coates
… In 2001, the Associated Press published a three-part investigation into the theft of black-owned land stretching back to the antebellum period. The series documented some 406 victims and 24,000 acres of land valued at tens of millions of dollars. The land was taken through means ranging from legal chicanery to terrorism. “Some of the land taken from black families has become a country club in Virginia,” the AP reported, as well as “oil fields in Mississippi” and “a baseball spring training facility in Florida.”…
In Chicago and across the country, whites looking to achieve the American dream could rely on a legitimate credit system backed by the government. Blacks were herded into the sights of unscrupulous lenders who took them for money and for sport. “It was like people who like to go out and shoot lions in Africa. It was the same thrill,” a housing attorney told the historian Beryl Satter in her 2009 book, Family Properties. “The thrill of the chase and the kill.” …
And just as black families of all incomes remain handicapped by a lack of wealth, so too do they remain handicapped by their restricted choice of neighborhood. Black people with upper-middle-class incomes do not generally live in upper-middle-class neighborhoods. Sharkey’s research shows that black families making $100,000 typically live in the kinds of neighborhoods inhabited by white families making $30,000. “Blacks and whites inhabit such different neighborhoods,” Sharkey writes, “that it is not possible to compare the economic outcomes of black and white children.” …
By Zachary Norris, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Recent discussions about reparations focus on the topic’s divisiveness and paint the choice as being between reparations or reinvestment — but these are not mutually exclusive ideas. Reparations for right now can actually mean reinvestment in our communities.
But we can’t have effective reinvestment until we acknowledge the truth of this country’s history of racial oppression. Police violence, mass incarceration, and pervasive disenfranchisement of communities of color are the result of slavery, lynch mobs, Jim Crow, disinvestment, and segregation.