Reparations

The Movement for Black Lives

[Editor’s Note: The following is from the “Reparations” page on the Movement for Black Lives website.]

We demand reparations for past and continuing harms. The government, responsible corporations and other institutions that have profited off of the harm they have inflicted on Black people–from colonialism to slavery through food and housing redlining, mass incarceration, and surveillance–must repair the harm done. This includes:

    1. Reparations for the systemic denial of access to high quality educational opportunities in the form of full and free access for all Black people (including undocumented and currently and formerly incarcerated people) to lifetime education including: free access and open admissions to public community colleges and universities, technical education (technology, trade and agricultural), educational support programs, retroactive forgiveness of student loans, and support for lifetime learning programs.
    2. Reparations for the continued divestment from, discrimination toward and exploitation of our communities in the form of a guaranteed minimum livable income for all Black people, with clearly articulated corporate regulations.
    3. Reparations for the wealth extracted from our communities through environmental racism, slavery, food apartheid, housing discrimination and racialized capitalism in the form of corporate and government reparations focused on healing ongoing physical and mental trauma, and ensuring our access and control of food sources, housing and land.
    4. Reparations for the cultural and educational exploitation, erasure, and extractionof our communities in the form of mandated public school curriculums that critically examine the political, economic, and social impacts of colonialism and slavery, and funding to support, build, preserve, and restore cultural assets and sacred sites to ensure the recognition and honoring of our collective struggles and triumphs.
    5. Legislation at the federal and state level that requires the United States to acknowledge the lasting impacts of slavery, establish and execute a plan to address those impacts. This includes the immediate passage of H.R.40, the “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act” or subsequent versions which call for reparations remedies.

Reparations for the Systemic Denial of Access to High Quality Educational Opportunities In the Form of Full and Free Access for All Black People (Including Undocumented, Currently, and Formerly Incarcerated People) to Lifetime Education Including: Free Access and Open Admissions to All Public Universities and Colleges, Technical Education (Technology, Trade, and Agricultural), Educational Support Programs, Retroactive Forgiveness of Student Loans, and Support for Lifetime Learning Programs

  1. We seek complete open access for all to free public university, college and technical education programs (including technology, trade and agricultural) as well as full-funding for lifelong learning programs that support communities and families. We also seek the forgiveness of all federal student loans. Policies shall apply to all and should focus on outreach to communities historically denied access to education including undocumented, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people.
  2. Cover all living costs, including but not limited to housing, transportation, childcare, healthcare, and food for students attending public universities, colleges, and technical educational programs (including technology, trade, and agricultural).
  3. Fully fund and provide open access to K-12, higher education, technical educational programs (including technology, trade, and agricultural), educational support programs and lifelong learning programs to every individual incarcerated in local, state, and federal correctional facilities (juvenile and adult).
  4. Provide full access to all undocumented people to state and federal programs that provide aid to cover the full costs, including living costs, to attend public universities, and colleges, technical educational programs, and lifelong learning programs.
  5. Increased federal and state investments in all Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs).

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  • Target: Legislative
  • Process: This would require the passage of a bill through both houses of Congress and be signed by the President. The bill would allow undocumented people access to full state and federal aid to cover all tuition, fees, and living costs to attend public universities and colleges, technical educational programs (including technology, trade, and agriculture), and lifelong learning programs.

Reparations for the Continued Divestment from, Discrimination toward, and Exploitation of Our Communities in the Form of a Guaranteed Minimum Livable Income for All Black People, with Clearly Articulated Corporate Regulations

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Reparations for the wealth extracted from our communities through environmental racism, slavery, food apartheid, housing discrimination and racialized capitalism in the form of corporate and government reparations focused on healing ongoing physical and mental trauma, and ensuring our access and control of food sources, housing and land.

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Reparations for the Cultural and Educational Exploitation, Erasure, and Extraction of Our Communities in the Form of Mandated Public School Curriculums That Critically Examine the Political, Economic, and Social Impacts of Colonialism and Slavery and Funding to Support, Build, Preserve and Restore Cultural Assets and Sacred Sites to Ensure the Recognition and Honoring of Our Collective Struggles and Triumphs

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  • There are too few acknowledged and preserved historical sites commemorating Black history. Of the 412 National Park Service sites in the U.S., only 25 (or 6 percent) are specifically devoted to Black history. According to the Institute of Museums and Library Services, there are 35,000 museums in the U.S., but only about 300 (or less than 1 percent) of these are specifically devoted to Black individuals or history. Despite their valuable programming and exhibitions, these organizations do not receive adequate funding from state legislatures or philanthropic organizations. The Smithsonian will open the National Museum of African American History & Culture in September 2016, making it the first and only national Black history museum to date.

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  • Demand a thorough and accurate public education curriculum on Black History, including not only slavery and civil rights, but also contributions of African and African American heritage at the local, national and global level. This must be integrated throughout the school year and taught in a way that presents the history as part of an ongoing narrative of oppression and resilience, not as historical artifacts.
  • Funding for cultural assets and sacred sites such as Black burial grounds; Black towns (e.g. Mound Bayou, Mississippi); houses of worship; meeting halls; one-room schools; and other significant institutions that speak to the triumphant quest of a determined people to create a new African community in this hostile land.
  • These Black sacred sites, monuments, and museums must be preserved as permanent memorials to continuously inform and inspire future generations of people of African descent about this legacy of trials, tribulations and triumph, and to remind America of the white supremacist terror employed to obstruct the path to freedom of African Americans.

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The Immediate Passage of H.R.40, the “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act” or Subsequent Versions Which May Call for Reparations Remedies, and Similar Legislation In All 50 States in Order to Force the US to Acknowledge the Lasting Impacts of Slavery and Establish a Plan to Address Those Impacts

Please refer to this page.

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