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Articles on Reparations

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Schools in predominantly Black communities receive less funding, even though Black homeowners pay higher tax rates. Carl Iwasaki/Getty Images

How reparations can be paid through school finance reform

A school finance expert and an education law scholar make the case for why reparations should be paid to African Americans by changing the way schools are funded.
Consulting with the communities that have suffered the most harm from past acts of mass violence is a key part of a successful reparations process. Steven Senne/AP

Why reparations are always about more than money

From Germany to Georgetown, the Global North has a lot to learn about reckoning successfully with past human rights wrongs.
The Port of Savannah used to export cotton picked by enslaved laborers and brought from Alabama to Georgia on slave-built railways. Cotton is still a top product processed through this port. Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Slave-built infrastructure still creates wealth in US, suggesting reparations should cover past harms and current value of slavery

Geographers are documenting slave-built infrastructure, from railroads to ports, in use today. Such work could influence the reparations debate by showing how slavery still props up the US economy.
Kwame Akoto-Bamfo’s sculpture dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Transatlantic slave trade on display in Montgomery, Alabama. Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Why the West is morally bound to offer reparations for slavery

The turn towards authoritarianism, xenophobia and racism in Western democracies makes it unlikely that former Western slave-trading nations will agree to reparations in the near future.
Efforts to build wealth for Black Americans could focus on property ownership. Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Community land trusts could help heal segregated cities

Some calls to resolve racial inequities in the US have raised an idea with roots more than a century old: community land trusts to assemble property for the benefit of Black Americans.
Haitian President Jean-Pierre Boyer receiving Charles X’s decree recognizing Haitian independence on July 11, 1825. Bibliotheque Nationale de France

When France extorted Haiti – the greatest heist in history

After enduring decades of exploitation at the hands of the French, Haiti somehow ended up paying reparations – to the tune of nearly $30 billion in today’s money.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are among the 2020 presidential hopefuls in favor of reparations. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Reparations are essential to eliminating the substantial wealth gap between black and white Americans

Several presidential hopefuls have offered proposals to close the racial wealth gap, from baby bonds to reparations. A simulation suggests policies short of direct aid to blacks won’t do the trick.

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