One of the greatest things to come up in the recent weeks is the conversation about reparations, justice for past sins of America. I did not have a stance on reparations until I entered undergrad when I had to enroll in an African American Experience course at Miles College in Fairfield, AL. In grade school, I knew that black people were enslaved, but did not see the impact slavery or African Americans had on this country, except being slaves, freed, then the Civil Rights Movement popped up with Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King.
Ta-Nehisi Coates‘ article, The Case for Reparations, in The Atlantic went deep into the financial means for reparations. pointing out companies that were predators, knowingly stealing money and land from African Americans. Also, how cities segmented African Americans in areas where they would be systemically treated as second class citizens.
After reading his article, I remembered one of my favorite assignments in college, an essay arguing the need for reparations. It was over 10 years ago, but I remember–one point in the essay focused on the economic disparities that African Americans realized post-Jim Crow. I included economic injustices that occurred during slavery, Reconstruction and Jim Crow. African Americans lived during these three eras–the treatment endured during those times contribute to the current financial condition of our people today.
How can a group go through those three horrific eras then magically transition to equality without any “help”?
I believe that people are afraid of reparations because they do not know how it would “look.” US Representative John Conyers Jr. introduced HR 40, a bill that will begin to finally begin the conversation of how reparations will “look.” Also, the NAACP is pushing for this legislation.
Check out the blog I posted on naacp.org.