Posted on June 15, 2021

Asheville Commits $2.1m for Reparations

Associated Press, June 9, 2021

A North Carolina city has committed $2.1 million toward funding reparations, an initiative it began last summer when it joined a number of U.S. cities which have voted to address their histories of racism and discrimination.

The Asheville City Council approved a budget amendment on Tuesday to pull the money from city land purchased in the 1970s as part of the city’s urban renewal programs that took apart Black communities, the Asheville Citizen Times reported. The city council also adopted a proclamation declaring June 19 as Juneteenth, the date which marks the end of slavery in the U.S.


Asheville passed its historic reparations in July 2020, apologizing for the city’s role in slavery, discrimination and denial of liberties to Black residents. The city manager was directed to establish a process for gathering recommendations to address the creation of generational wealth and economic mobility and opportunity in the Black community.

The City Council has previously said the reparations do not require direct payments but would mandate investments in areas where Black residents face disparities. {snip}


While the amount is almost double what was allocated in earlier presentations, some community members at the council’s meeting expressed opposition. Some argued the $2.1 million isn’t enough and that divesting from the city police department would be a form of reparations. Others said the money could be better spent, including that it could be targeted at helping Black people become homeowners and that with a proposed tax hike, they’re being priced out of the city.