57% Of Black Americans Are Descendants Of The Enslaved And Owed Reparations

people protesting holding up signs saying economic justice and reparation now
Alyssa Guzik
October 24, 2022

To the surprise of many, the House of Representatives introduced a bill in 2021 to develop reparations plans for African Americans. Unsurprisingly to every Black person in the universe, it hasn’t seen the light of day since. 

But since 40 acres and a mule is probably out, what would reparations look like today?

Though conversations have run parallel to the racial wealth gap, experts have noted that it isn’t a lack of education but a lack of access to resources that make us more vulnerable to economic shifts.

Some of the options experts propose would seemingly make up those differences - at least partially.

Andre Perry and Rashawn Ray of the Brookings institute would see the government provide restitution by combining direct payments to descendants of slavery with free college tuition, student loan forgiveness, grants for Black-owned businesses, and home-buying grants.

Some feel the original 40 acres ideology is best. William Darity, a professor at Duke, did the math. Calculating the cost of a mule and 40 acres in 1865, with interest, inflation, and 30 million slavery descendants, would equal $80,000 per Black American!

Cash would be significant, but ultimately, it wouldn’t set our community up for long-term wealth. Still, reparations would go a long way to rectifying deficits Black people have faced. The question is, what form should they take?

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