Inside Barbados’ Historic Push for Slavery Reparations

In the U.S., two federal reparations bills have stalled. States, cities, and institutions have taken steps on the issue, though even these relatively small-scale programs have often been met with outrage and disdain. In 2021, Evanston, Ill., moved first, launching a $10 million reparations program. Phase 1: a lottery aiming to give about 16 Black families homeownership assistance of up to $25,000 each, less than 10% of the city’s median home value. That generated significant misinformation and complaints of racial discrimination against non-Black residents. A San Francisco committee released a proposal in January calling for lump-sum payments of $5 million to eligible individuals, spurring instant backlash. Since May, a statewide California task force has made public its own reparations recommendations—40 chapters of research on resolving vast inequality—while the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice has launched a council to conduct a study of the impacts of slavery, and New York lawmakers have approved something similar.

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