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Reparations and Apologies for Slavery

“An apology is meaningless without reparations. But reparations would be meaningless without a heartfelt apology.”

HR 40 proposes a commission to study the effects of slavery on the descendants of American slaves and make recommendations to address the conditions, including economic, caused by inter-generational poverty rooted in slavery.   Here is the full wording of HR40.

As of August 2019, Racial Justice Rising is offering the local and global community the opportunity to express why reparations are important to you.  One of the co-chairs of New England N’COBRA (the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America) has suggested that especially people of European descent talk about this topic.  And every voice is welcome here.

If you’d like to provide your comments in support of reparations, please follow the link here.


40 Acres and a Mule Would Be At Least $6.4 Trillion Today: What America Really Owes Black America, an infographic by Tracy Loeffelholz Dunn & Jeff Neumann at Yes! Magazine

Black Farmers To Receive Payouts From Federal Lawsuit, by Carolyn Brown at Black Enterprise

The Case For Reparations, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, at the Atlantic

For Truth and Reparations Campaign

Georgetown University to offer slave descendents preferential admission status, by Kathryn Vasel at CNN

Jamaica is Calling on Britain To Pay Millions in Reparations by Rowena Mason at Business Insider

National African American Reparations Commission

National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA)

Randall Robinson

Reparations: The Time Is Now, a guide from Coming To The Table

Restitution Study Group

Slavery reparations dominate David Cameron’s Jamaica visit, a very short video from A&J films

Speakers Call For Federal Reparations, by Janelle Odionou at the Cornell Daily Sun

Ta-Nehisi Coates Makes The Case For Reparations, audio recording of a June 2015 talk on WNPR

This Could Be Reparations’ Best Chance Since 1865, by Salim Muwakkil at In These Times

U.S. Owes Black People Reparations for History of Racial Terrorism, Says U.N., by Ishaan Tharoor  at the Washington Post

Apologies for Slavery

December 2015: Delaware Governor Says State Must Apologize For Its Role in Slavery, by Barbara Goldberg at Huffington Post

U.S. government apologies for slavery:
House of Representatives


New Jersey
North Carolina
Annapolis MD

Alameda County CA

Other countries:

In 2006 Tony Blair, prime minister, expressed “deep sorrow” for the UK’s role in the slave trade.

Businesses and universities
– Brown University
– Aetna, mid-2000, prompted by Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, apologized for insurance policies written on slaves 140 years earlier.
– In 2002, New York Life, the insurer, donated documents about the insurance it sold to slave owners in the 1840s to a New York library. It also backed educational efforts.
– In 2005 JPMorgan, the investment bank, apologized that two of its predecessors in Louisiana – Citizens Bank and Canal Bank – had mortgaged slaves. The bank made its research public and set up a $5m scholarship fund for African- American pupils.
– Lehman Brothers apologized in 2005 for its predecessors’ links to slavery, while Bank of America said it regretted any actions its predecessors might have taken to support or tolerate slavery.
– Wachovia Bank, since acquired by Wells Fargo, also apologized for its predecessors having owned and profited from slaves. It set up a program offering $1bn in loans for black car dealerships.
– In October 2001 students at Yale University pointed out its past links with slavery. The university noted it had already founded the Gilder-Lehrman center for the study of slavery.
– Brown University has set up a commission to look into links with slavery and how it should make amends.

– Emory University, January 2011

Faith groups
Episcopal Church
Church of England
Episcopal Church in North Carolina
Southern Baptist Convention

Don’t just be an ally in safe space. Don’t just hold the #BlackLivesMatter sign when it is safe. Hold the sign when bullets are flying over your head. Hold the sign when our children are dying from asthma and living in mold infested projects. Tell me a life matters when it costs you something. Don’t let my pain be your weekend excursion.
–Rev. Michael Walrond, pastor of First Corinthia Baptist Church in NY, quoted by Urban Cusp

Projects, Groups, Actions

Beyond Whiteness: This website is full of resources for antiracism and information about white privilege, racism, and more.

Catalyst Project, organizing antiracist whites

The Center for the Study of White American Culture and their blog on topics of whiteness

Community Change, Inc, Boston

The Liberator, William Lloyd Garrison’s abolitionist newspaper from the 1800s

Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
** Donate to Black-Led Racial Justice Organizations, from SURJ

Traces of the Trade and The Tracing Center

The White Noise Collective is a collective of people dedicated to racial justice that explores how internalized sexism and heterosexism show up in the work of anti-racist activists, educators and allies.

White Nonsense Roundup

White Privilege Conference

Articles, Videos, Books, etc

9 Ways You Can Use Your White Privilege For Good, from MTV (of all places)

13 Resources for Teaching About White Privilege

16 Books About Race That Every White Person Should Read, from Huffington Post

Accomplices Not Allies: Abolishing the Ally Industrial Complex, An Indigenous Perspective and Provocation, from Indigenous Action Media
– Stop Being An Ally, #AccomplicesNotAllies, a video from This Matters

Advice for white folks in the wake of the police murder of a black person, by Justin Cohen

Allies, The Time For Your Silence Has Expired, from SoulA Scriptura

Are You Racist? 28 Common Racist Attitudes and Behaviors, from Odin’s B-Log

Can Master Syndrome be Undone? An Urgent Challenge for the Anti-Racist Movement by Maria Reinat-Pumarejo

Code of Ethics for Antiracist White Allies by JLove and Tim Wise

The Costs of Racism for White People by Paul Kivel

Dear White America by George Yancy at the New York Times

Emptying the White Knapsack, by Jaime Grant

How Racism Affects White Americans, by Dr. John H. Bracey Jr. from the Media Education Foundation

How To Overcome The Murderous Fear of White People by Zaron Burnett III at Human Parts

If You Have To Tell Your Kids This Stuff, Then You Probably Aren’t a White Person, a short video by Javon Johnson, from Button Poetry, on Upworthy

The Importance of Listening as a Privileged Person Fighting For Justice, by Jamie Utt

Jews in America Struggled to Become White. Now We Must Give Up Whiteness to Fight Racism, by Gil Steinlauf in the Washington Post

My Fellow White People, We Need To Talk, by Fog City John at the Daily Kos

Privilege 101: A Quick & Dirty Guide, by Sian Ferguson at Everyday Feminism

Dr. Robin DiAngelo:
– 11 Common Ways White Folks Avoid Taking Responsibility for Racism
– Deconstructing White Privilege, a video
– No I Won’t Stop Saying White Supremacy
– White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism
– White Women’s Tears & The Men Who Love Them

Shining The Light On White by Sharon Martinas

So You Call Yourself An Ally? 10 Things All “Allies” Need To Know by Jamie Utt

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon To White America by Michael Eric Dyson

This is What White People Can Do to Support BlackLivesMatter, from the Washington Post

Tim Wise

Toward An Abolitionist Feminism, by Zillah Eisenstein at Portside.

Ways White People Can Process Emotions Without Bringing On White Tears, by Jennifer Loubriel at Everyday Feminism

White Dude Gets Real About Racism, a video from comedian Louis C.K.

Waking Up White by Debby Irving

What Cultural Appropriation Is and Why You Should Care, by Shree Paradkar at The Star

What is Whiteness? by Nell Irvin Painter in the NY Times

What You Can Do Right Now About Police Brutality, by Ijeoma Oluo

What White America Fails To See, by Michael Eric Dyson in the New York Times

White Privilege Explained In Five Minutes, a video by ArchDuke

White Supremacy Culture, by Kenneth Jones & Tema Okun

Whites Only: SURJ And The Caucasian Invasion Of Racial Justice Spaces by Didi Delgado at The Establishment

Whites Who Are Scared They Will Be Called Racist, a video with Kathy Obear from Philippe After Hours

Whites Won’t Give Up on Racism by Scot Nakagawa at ChangeLab

You’ve Been Well Cared For by Betty Reid Mandell

7 Ways We Know Systemic Racism Is Real, from Ben & Jerry’s

9 TED Talks To Help You Understand Race in America

30 Articles by POC Everyone Should Read, from the Huffington Post

A Brief History of White Privilege, Racism, and Oppression in America, 5 minute film gives overview of how our government created institutional racism (an excerpt from Legalize Democracy)

The Electoral College Has Its Origins in Slavery, by David Love at the Atlantic Black Star

Five-Minute Film Festival: Talking About Race and Stereotypes, from Edutopia

A Forgotten History of How the U.S. Government Segregated America, an interview with Richard Rothstein on Fresh Air at NPR

Free PDF Books on Race, Gender, Sexuality, Class and Color, from Flannery O’Gonnor

Hate Map from the Southern Poverty Law Center

How Microaggressions Are Like Mosquito Bites, a short video from Fusion Comedy

The Myth of Race, Debunked in 3 Minutes, video and article by Jenée Desmond-Harris and Estelle Caswell at Vox

New Voting Restrictions in Place for First Time in 2016, from the Brennan Center for Justice

Race and…: A series of videos from Race Forward exploring the ways race compounds and intersects with all the other issues faced by people of color.

Race: Are We So Different? is a very accessible 5 minute video on how “race” was created, from the American Anthropological Association.

A resource list from Coming To the Table – books, films, etc.

Should I Use The Adjective “Diverse”? by Alex Kapitan at

Talking About Race, a series on Bill Moyers’ website

Unequal: How People of Color Were Kept From Owning A Home, a video from The Root

What Is Systemic Racism? Nine short films on subjects like the wealth gap, education housing, incarceration… with Rinku Sen from Race Forward

When I See Them, I See Us – Lauryn Hill, Danny Glover, DAM, Omar Barghouti, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Yousef Erekat, Annemarke Jacir, Boots Riley, Dr. Cornell West, & more. From Black-Palestinian  Solidarity

Why “People of Color” May Not Be the Best Choice of Words, by Cameron G. at Everyday Feminism

Women of Color in Women’s History, a series from Daily Kos:

– Part 1: Native Americans

– Part 2: Latinas

– Part 3: African Americans

– Part 4: Asian and Asian-Pacific Americans

Baltimore Racial Justice Action offers classes, learning groups, and educational events, and does consulting work (Baltimore, MD)

Center for the Study of White American Culture offers training on What White People Can Do About Racism and more

Coming To The Table

Crossroads Anti-Racism Organizing and Training

People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond

Race Forward

Stir Fry Seminars: training to “honor differences through dialogue and support communities to view diversity as a gift and a contribution”

Training For Change

Undoing Racism Organizing Collective, Springfield, MA

White Privilege Conference

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