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Reparations are the restorative actions that make an acknowledgement of wrong doings via an apology meaningful.

In our context, we are talking about reparations to the descendants of all enslaved in the United States of America; namely, the indigenous populations and the African Americans. As stated in our apology document, the form these long over-due reparations will take are to be determined by those who experienced the harm.  Here we are talking about reparations for the crime of slavery at the origins of this country AND the ongoing profound harm that continues today toward these same populations.

As described by the Grassroots Reparations Campaign, a component of The Truth Telling Project, “Reparations is the practice of repairing spiritual, moral and material harm.” It is not just about financial reparative actions.

With this in mind, we invite explanations of why reparations is important to you.  We will publicly post on this page all comments of 100 words or less provided they adhere to the spirit of this invitation. Participants can choose to include their full name or initials or speak anonymously.  Indicating if you are of European descent (and benefit from white privilege) would be helpful as well.

If you’d like to offer your comments on reparations fill out the comments form below.

Thank you!

If you have not yet signed our apology and commitment to restorative actions, please read and sign the Mass Slavery Apology. The signatures and comments will show support for the HR40 bill in the U.S. Congress and also for local efforts to create a similar legislative bill at the state levels. 

This is the most touching message I have ever read on the internet…As a proud black person who…has studied slavery and the impact on blacks and whites, I know the majority of Black and White Americans do want to improve race relations. As we realize there is a great need for an apology for past crimes, we recognize it is even more important to consider reparations for those trying times.
Reparations is the best way to facilitate racial healing.The all mighty question of what fair and reasonable reparations are will arise. and I must admit the answer was revealed to me by a proud white man who I know is my friend. He is dedicated to easing racial tensions just like the people who wrote this message and myself…I find it my duty to offer his remedy as a solution to solve our historical problem of lingering affects of slavery and racism. He explained it as the United States of America Truth and Reconciliation Process. I will forever be grateful to him for this and consider him my soul mate in searching for racial healing between our people.
Please read his solution…at my Black History website at in the How to Win Reparations section…
In the Spirit of Racial Healing.

Offer Your Comment on Reparations

Read and Reply to Comments from Others

23 thoughts on “Read and Make Comments on Reparations”

  1. In this time of the erasure and/or distortion of the United States’ history of racism, slavery, and the impacts on education, employment, and all other opportunities for people of color, I find it especially important for white people to own how our ancestors have caused grave harm. I apologize for the behavior of my ancestors, and for all of my own personal behaviors that have had a negative effect on the lives of people of color to include indigenous peoples.

  2. Harm done at this depth cannot be wished away, nor can it somehow just take care of itself because years have gone by. This is even more true because of the continued violence and oppression toward African-Americans in the U.S. We need to confront the issue head-on. That’s why I support these apology and reparation efforts.

  3. (Responding to John’s comment, March 2023)
    “Thank you for your concern. You bring up a very difficult complex question. As a person of European descent with white privilege, I have learned that it isn’t up to me or white folks to determine how reparations is carried out. It is up to those that have experienced the harm. The descendants of enslaved Africans are very capable to determine how reparations would be carried out in all circumstances.

    Secondly, when I first heard the idea of reparations, I thought it was just a paycheck. Since I have dedicated to learning more what reparations entails, I have learned that it is much broader than a payout. Though a payout is certainly necessary for all those years of unpaid labor and suffering enslaved people endured, it isn’t the only form of reparations. There are 5 elements for full reparations to happen: Restitution & Repatriation, Compensation, Guarantee of Non Repeat, Satisfaction and Rehabilitation

    Reparations isn’t just about money. It is about changing the conditions and systems that caused the human harm and profound cultural damage caused by slavery and its aftermath. All descendants of enslaved Africans were harmed and deserve reparative actions for the grave errors of our nation state.

    For more information:

  4. I had decendants who fought and died in the Civil War for the north Am I entitled to repreations from those who were freed by their sacrifices?

  5. (Responding to S. Bowman’s comment: ) Thank you for sharing your perspective and concerns on this topic. Regarding the mistreatment of women, you are right. Historically and continuing today, women have also been an oppressed group.

    Structural change is needed to address all oppressed groups, for sure. What I have learned as a person of European descent with light-skin privilege is that I benefit financially and politically from white privilege even as a woman, in ways that people of African and Indigenous descent do not. For a long time, I was oblivious to this reality.

    Historically and into the present moment, there are laws, policies and unspoken practices that advantage white people and disadvantage or harm people of color—this is an example of structural racism. A video outlines this.

    Your concern that reparations for Blacks will make racism a lot worse. . . There is a common misconception that if one group gets access to resources that it will mean less for other groups. This is called “zero sum thinking.” When in fact, if Blacks and Indigenous groups are lifted up by just actions like reparations, the entire population will benefit. For me, reparations is about being accountable for centuries of injustice. It isn’t about blame but responsibility.

  6. Again. I forgot from my last post. I’m not talking about folks who have resorted to crime to make a living or to fight back against white privilege. I’m speaking about those monsters who don’t care about or daughter being safe and success. They see an opportunity to have fun at others expense. Like whites have done to black folks. I don’t believe in doing the same to others as they have done to you unless you are at that moment defending your life!

  7. Hi there. My concern has been the people who don’t deserve reparations. I’m talking about the people who have beaten, killed, raped and forced human trafficking on to people, especially forced some on to drugs. How do we stop those evil people from getting paid?

  8. If there’s money involved then for sure people are gonna be on board. I don’t understand how your idea to give one side money then blame the other side for our history, do you really think that will help? If we’re going with history then I feel like Every Woman should get reparations because how it was back then, women were suppose to do whatever their husband said, I’m pretty sure women could of gotten alot futher in life if people didn’t think that way, so it only makes sense that if yout gonna pay a group of people for what happened in the past then your gonna have to pay women too. White and black people are actually closer then ever before, we hang out, we marry, we have babies together, and now racism is all you hear about. I wish things were different back then but I don’t believe it’s gonna help I think it’s going to make racism alot worse.

  9. I think reparations are a necessary part of an apology, even if they are not going to be substantial enough to repair the harm caused by any economic or social calculus. I think the reality is that the best we can do is have state-by-state reparations in this country, and that it will be as significant for states that do it as it is for states allowing abortion. Decisions on whether to move or stay will be based on it.

  10. First and foremost it is important for African Americans to receive reparation money due to the pain of our ancestors not only that the memories are still in the present lives African Americans live today

    we are still being mistreated

    we still don’t have freedom

    we are still being judged by the color of our skin being thrown in jail with shackles and still slaving ourselves for the minimum trying to get ahead in life so we don’t end up in the system

    we want what is owed to us

    we deserve it

    others that are against us stated slavery was long ago but it was never forgotten

    it’s not something you can sweep under the rug

    May the most high our God be with us all this is cruel and unfair the people that are against us you hold a lot of hate and it is very sickening we are truly at the end the most high is on his way

    I would suggest you repent and give us what is owed to us

    we don’t want problems we want to get away and reminisce I’m the ones that we lost


  11. I began my own anti-racist, reparations project on land I inherited recently in Virginia, which since the 17th century was used to extract wealth from the work of enslaved African Americans. I also found a list, with Eurocentric first names and ages, of 89 men, women and children who escaped in 1862 from my great-great-grandfather when Union troops chased CSA troops out of the area. My wife and I are seeking dialogue with progressive African-Americans and activist artisans toward converting some of the acreage — including the brickwork remains of the waterway entrance to the land, whereon local archeologists believe slave sales likely occurred (this tobacco region was the heartland of the birth of racist slavery as national policy) — to become a site committed to elevating and enlarging the Black (anti-racist AND anti-colonialist) narrative in American history.

    Steve Greaves

  12. There is so much to be repaired between white people and Black people.  I hope there can be healing between the races.  White folks have benefited from the system of white supremacy.  White people should make it a priority to learn the history of what happened to African people since the 1600’s when they were kidnapped from their homes on the African continent. Once white people have educated themselves about the history of African Americans, it would be clear how much we owe to them.  That is where reparations comes in.

    Annie Keough
    Greenfield, MA

  13. Thank you for creating a space for us to speak. I am 62 and knew from a very early age what injustice looks like and how deeply wrong it is. Yet, I have done nothing. Reparations seem like a good start.

    Ramona Hamblin
    New Salem, Massachusetts

  14. It is time for white people, like me, to step into responsibility for the actions of our ancestors and the way those actions have created systems to benefit us today. They are irreparably linked and all rights, privileges and freedoms that I enjoy every day come to me as a result of this legacy. Our country cannot undo the past but we must reconcile with it in order to shape the future in a just and equitable way. Authentic, meaningful reparations are necessary and overdue. Reparations help everyone.

    Jane Stephenson
    Montague, Massachusetts

  15. Phillip Sherwood-Berndt

    African-Americans were forced to slave for centuries to build the wealth of a budding nation that never saw them as human. Systemic racism continues to segregate them from the opportunity to partake equally in the prosperity they and their ancestors helped to create. This history of violence and prosperity denied demands reparations.

    Phillip Sherwood-Berndt
    (identify as being primarily of European Descent)
    Pelham, Massachusetts

  16. It is important to me to be in right relation, to be connected to others in ways that acknowledge and are committed to materially and symbolically repairing exploitation and oppression and that help move toward respectful interdependency.

    Naomi Scheman,
    (identify as being primarily of European Descent)
    Arlington, MA

  17. They are important because … it’s what’s due as black people’s inhertense for our ancestors forced labor and the quality of life white people control … it spread out to allow others to enjoy at blacks expense being last in line … waiting this long to receive it shows fear in white people and holding them accountable to right a wrong it allows blacks to enjoy what our ancestors passed down to us not just white people. …

    we will in confidence can say it was not built for white people tho they made it theirs . .

    it’s blacks living the way our ancestors intended us to and they wanted to without being forced to build and watch them live their dream of freedom having our ancestors money due them will allow us to own without fear of putting others out of business and becoming owners ourselves …

    it’s white people’s fear of being held accountable their loss of control over our reparation brings them down to being equal …

    deceit has caught up with them …

    white people will should not dignity having a conversation about what’s owed us like the 40acres and a mule ..

    Indians and others got their Cashome reparations give us ours and be adults pay your debts read the constitution and stop making excuses and avoiding to paying us it’s not your business how we spend it it’s not a discussion it’s about signing the check and reimburse attorney fees …

    stop fighting and give us our inhertense money…

    your skin color is holding us back own it …

    pride and greed is over … read psalm 14:2

    If our slave ancestors could visit you I’d ask them to. . .

    be great full they cant or can they


  18. Enslavement and the overt and covert racism that have occurred since have done incalculable damage to African Americans. The assault on their families, psyches, emotions, livelihoods, health and well-being continues. The check Dr. King spoke of is long past due. It is time to repair the damage. Reparations are one way. 

    Tom Weiner
    Northampton, MA

  19. Cara Michelle Silverberg

    Peace and freedom require breaking free from cycles of violence and trauma. Reparations — in all its relational, monetary, memorial, and other creative avenues — is a vital step in this direction.

    Cara Michelle Silverberg
    white(ned) Ashkenazi Jew
    Wendell, MA

  20. This country was founded on land theft, genocide and slavery. It is a shameful legacy, all the more so because we have not apologized nor sought to repair the damage done to generations of native and black people. We will never be whole and never stop our global and local oppressive behaviors if we do not acknowledge the wrongs we have done and negotiated as full a reparation as human decency requires.

    Sherrill Hogen
    European Descent
    Shelburne Falls, MA, USA

  21. Reparations to Black People Is Essential To Save White People.

    George Esworthy
    European Descent
    Buckland, Massachusetts, USA

  22. It is time to make amends in ways that matter. There is the need for reparations to the descendants of the Native American First Nation people who were eliminated in large numbers via genocide, who were enslaved and whose land was stolen from them-land that they lived on in harmony with nature and other beings and for which they had no concept of ownership.

    And there is a need for reparations to the descendants of the people from Africa who were brought here and used as slaves for the benefit of the wealthy landowners in both the South and in our own New England communities as well as the tropics.

    We can’t return the land to the Native people but we can assist those living in poverty on reservations by setting up funds for creating jobs, offering educational opportunities to the youth, honoring and aiding the traditional people of many tribes who are working to teach their language and traditions to the younger generations and who are teaching us the way we need to live on our Mother Earth if we are to survive the damage we have created to our environment and to all living beings. We need to honor their wisdom and acknowledge they are our teachers. We need to stop trying to desecrate their land by polluting it via mineral extraction and dumping of toxic chemicals, building pipelines etc.

    We need to eliminate institutional racism of all forms, and this is an important piece–creating more programs and opportunities for white people to learn about and acknowledge their white privilege in order to dismantle racism. Money needs to be spent to educate those in law enforcement who profile people of color. We need to fund schools equitably and create educational and job opportunities for people of color who lack access to resources. Money invested in cultural events, art , music, etc. that empower young people to express themselves creatively. I don’t know how this will happen-though foundations, funds set up for specific pieces etc, and with people of color in leadership roles playing an important part in how they would like to see reparations happen.

    Dorothy McIver
    Greenfield, Massachusetts, USA

  23. Ongoing, voluntary, individual and institutional reparations is an opportunity:
    – to accept responsibility for past and present crimes of systemic racial violence, terror, & economic exploitation;
    – to inspire peaceful, contagious structural change;
    – to liberate us from complicity; and
    – to heal the heart and soul of the nation & our precious planet.

    T. Iannuzzi
    European Descent/ benefits materially but harmed spiritually by white privilege
    Shutesbury, Massachusetts, USA, Planet Earth, The Cosmos

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