A first-in-the-country task force in California to study and recommend reparations for African Americans is conducting its inaugural meeting, launching a two-year process to address the harms of slavery and systemic racism.
Tuesday’s meeting of the first state reparations committee in the U.S. came as President Joe Biden commemorated the lives of hundreds of Black people killed by a white mob in what was then a thriving African-American community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a century ago. “I’m so thankful to my ancestors, who survived so much trauma, so much pain, so much tragedy, so much brutality, so that I could live,” said Lisa Holder, a civil rights attorney in Los Angeles. “And I am ready to fight to deliver them — our ancestors —justice.”
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Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who as a state assemblywoman authored the state legislation creating the task force, noted the solemnity of the occasion as well as the opportunity to right an historic wrong that continues today, in the form of large racial disparities in wealth, health and education. African Americans make up just 6% of California’s population yet were 30% of an estimated 250,000 people experiencing homelessness who sought help in 2020. “Your task is to determine the depth of the harm, and the ways in which we are to repair that harm,” said Weber, whose parents were sharecroppers forced to leave the South.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK POST