My name is Lotte, and I created this portal as a means of helping white Americans make reparations to Black Americans for our participation in the Atlantic Slave Trade.
About a year ago, I was unpacking some family heirlooms and I found a logbook of my family’s plantation business in Mississippi. Inside it, alongside lists of property and equipment was a list of the names and values of people. People my family had enslaved.
I was dumbfounded. I knew our family was from the South and that my great-grandfathers had fought during the Civil War. But no one had ever mentioned a connection to slavery. After a bit more research, it became clear that my family had enslaved African people for over 200 years and had amassed both social and financial advantage as a result. While that wealth was long gone, the discovery was painful; I was filled with guilt and shame.
Since finding the logbook, I have met many others who have made similar discoveries. We all have the same feelings and ask the same question – now that I know, what do I do?
This portal is designed to help fill that void. It will connect you with the resources you need to better understand our history, the nature of institutional racism, how our families fit into the puzzle, and ways we can begin to repair the damage. You will hear stories from black and white perspectives. You will hear from both liberals and conservatives. And, you will learn innovative ways they’ve chosen to make reparations.
Start by listening to my story. Then, scroll down to explore the stages of repair, portal's library and other resources. Finally, chart your path.
Acknowledge the tremendous suffering that the enslavement of Africans during the Atlantic Slave Trade caused.
Understand that while slavery has legally ended, the effects of institutional racism continue to this day.
Recognize that racism takes many forms and is continually evolving
Study the 400 years of American history from a different angle; learn about the continuing social and economic disparities institutional racism causes.
Listen to African American perspectives
Research your family’s heritage; view American history through a new lens
Become aware of the advantages you have inherited; learn how you can leverage your position in life to empower other