Posted on December 6, 2022

NY Lawmakers Push for Slavery Reparations for Black Residents

Carl Campanile and Zach Williams, New York Post, December 5, 2022

Some New York lawmakers are renewing the push for a state law that would lay the groundwork to pay reparations to black residents whose ancestors were enslaved.

Proponents gained steam after a task force in California last week recommended that the Golden State shell out $569 billion in reparations to slaves’ descendents there, or $223,200 apiece, because of lingering housing discrimination practices.

A previously proposed New York measure called for creating a commission to study the impact of slavery and providing reparations but failed to pass the legislature. It is now being revised, backers said.

“We saw what happened in California. We want to pass a bill that starts a conversation about reparations,” said Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages (D-Nassau), chairwoman of the New York Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, to The Post.

Assemblywoman Taylor Darling (D-Nassau) said it would be a “slap in the face” if Gov. Kathy Hochul and the legislature don’t green-light a reparations study commission.

Darling also scoffed that the $223,000 figure that California’s task force recommended for each black descendant there was too low.

“This country was built on the backs of enslaved people. It has impacted everything — housing, economic development, education.,” she said.

The previously proposed New York bill — which called for the creation of an 11-member commission to study the issue — passed the assembly June 3 in a 104-45 vote but stalled in the senate.

Solages said she and other supporters want the revised bill addressed by Hochul and the legislature before the state budget is approved next year, so that any costs associated with the reparations commission can be included in the financial plan.


There are five types of reparations that will be discussed, according to Solages: direct compensation; restitution of a victims’ rights and property; psychological or mental health rehabilitation; reforming laws to prevent or stop discrimination and a government apology or acknowledgement of guilt for the sin of slavery.