THE CASE FOR REPARATIONS

275 YEARS OF SLAVERY. 75 YEARS OF JIM CROW.

SEGREGATION. REDLINING. VIOLENCE. INSTITUTIONAL RACISM IS REAL; WE HAVE A DEBT TO PAY.

Emmett Till newspaper article.

The Case For Reparations

Descendants of enslaved Africans encounter the effects of institutional racism daily, whether it’s police brutality, or being shut out of employment opportunities, a good education or the ability to finance a home.

Despite an incredible resilience through 400 years of Inequality in America, institutional racism is so widespread and so embedded in our economy that African Americans have not reached economic parity with white Americans.

Newsweek article: What might reparations cost?

Emmett Till newspaper article.

The Case For Reparations

Descendants of the enslaved encounter the effects of institutional racism daily, whether it’s encountering violence, enduring racist comments, or being shut out of employment, a good education or the ability to finance a home.

Because institutional racism is so widespread and so embedded in our economy, African Americans have not reached economic parity with white Americans.

Newsweek article: What might reparations cost?

Not convinced? The Opportunity Insights Project provides troubling evidence.

Chart of average individual income rank of kids.

Even when children grow up next to each other with parents who earn similar incomes, black boys fare worse than white boys in 99 percent of America. And the gaps only worsen in the kind of neighborhoods that promise low poverty and good schools.

According to the study, led by researchers at Stanford, Harvard and the Census Bureau, income inequality between blacks and whites is driven entirely by what is happening among these boys and the men they become.

Black men consistently earn less than white men, regardless of whether they’re raised poor or rich.

Black men consistently earn less than white men, regardless of whether they’re raised poor or rich.

The case for reparations to descendants of enslaved people is quite simple: African-Americans were taken from their homes in Africa, enslaved and forced to work for white Americans for over 250 years in abysmal conditions with no remuneration. The “40 acres and a mule” promised to each black family upon emancipation was never delivered.

Just as wealth can be built and handed down the generations, so too can poverty.

Racial Relations Challenge

Just as wealth can be built and handed down the generations, so too can poverty.

Black white photo of girl and boy in a field.

Even after emancipation, practices such as sharecropping and enactment of Jim Crow laws ensured that African Americans were economically hamstrung, effectively barred from participating in the American Dream. These practices continue to this day, evolving with the times, and have been well documented by economists, such as Duke University's Dr. William Darity.

HR-40, a bill to create a commission to study and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans has been advanced since the late 1980s, first by the late Representative John Conyers, and now by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee; however, to-date, the bill has remained side-lined.

Black white photo of girl and boy in a field.

Even after emancipation, practices such as sharecropping and enactment of Jim Crow laws ensured that African Americans were economically hamstrung, effectively barred from participating in the American Dream. These practices continue to this day, evolving with the times.

HR-40, a bill to create a commission to study and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans has been advanced since the late 1980s, first by the late Representative John Conyers, and now by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee; however, to-date, the bill has remained side-lined.

The U.S. made reparations to Japanese-Americans incarcerated during WWII.

Germany made reparations to holocaust survivors and Israel after WWII.

Institutions such as Georgetown and the Princeton Theological Seminary are now pledging to make reparations for their ties to slavery.

What about us?  It's time we made reparations too.

If the U.S. government won’t act, it is up to every white American to advance this cause and make personal reparations. This site illustrates how this can be accomplished.

Paper with a box checkmarked "Yes"

While others are puzzling over how our nation, as a whole, can repay its debt, this portal provides simple strategies and actions individual families can take today.

  • Did your family engage in slaveholding or benefit from the Atlantic Slave Trade in some way?
  • Does your family have a tradition of philanthropy?
  • What if your family could widen its reach?
  • What if your family could extend its blessings and traditions to benefit the descendants of the enslaved?
  • Consider transforming your family's tradition of philanthropy into a tradition of repair.

TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Many families benefitted from slave-holding and slave-trading activities from the 1600s – 1865, whether we were actively involved or not. Many families made significant profits doing so – and still enjoy both the tangible and intangible of benefits of prosperity today.

Beyond financial assets, think, for a moment, about the advantages our families have amassed: access to an excellent education and health care; a strong professional network of business associates; the knowledge and means to build wealth.

Many of these things can be described as family traditions that have lasted for generations: being brought up in the family trade or profession, attending the same university as your ancestors did; being “shown the ropes,” mentored by family friends and relations.

These invisible cultural benefits have served not only to preserve white structural advantage but to create a barrier to success for African Americans.

ALL OVER THE U.S., PEOPLE AND INSTITUTIONS ARE QUIETLY FINDING INNOVATIVE WAYS TO MAKE REPARATIONS.