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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

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