‘1619 Project’ Creator Explains Why Black Americans Are Owed $14 Trillion in Reparations
Dessi Gomez, The Wrap, February 15, 2023
“Justice,” the final episode in Hulu’s “The 1619 Project” docuseries, argues that the federal government owes $14 trillion to the descendants of enslaved Black people.
Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of the series, calculates the federal government owes the 4 million Black Americans whose ancestors were enslaved $350,000. She argues these reparations — made in the form of land and money — are a way to address the unequal wealth distribution, redlining and other institutional practices that harmed Blacks for decades. And she has the statistics to back it up.
“When I constructed the essay, it was a benefit having every possible objection to reparations and every possible excuse as to why we can’t do it or we shouldn’t do it. For me, the answers are in the data,” Hannah-Jones explained. “I already know the objections that are formulating in your mind so I’m going to set them all up and I’m going to knock them down. That was extremely intentional because the truth is, it’s not just Conservatives who oppose reparations for Black Americans. The polling shows that even a majority of white Democrats oppose it, and that to me is coming from a lack of information.”