Reparations for Black Californians? New task force will spend craft proposals

American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS) activists demand reparations for slavery. Photo by Shutterstock.

President Joe Biden signed a bill into law today declaring June 19, commonly referred to as Juneteenth, a federal holiday. It marks the 1865 day when slaves in Texas learned they were free. The revelation came months after the end of the Civil War and two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, though slavery wasn’t truly abolished until the 13th Amendment.

But that wasn’t the end of discrimination. Today Black Americans still feel the effects of slavery. They earn on average about $30,000 less than whites, and a typical Black family’s net worth is 10 times less than a white family’s. How do you close the gap?

One possibility is reparations, which California is now considering. A state task force is spending the next two years crafting reparation proposals for Black Californians. It’s the first effort of its kind in the nation. 

Credits

Guest:

  • Lisa Holder - civil rights attorney and a member of CA’s taskforce on reparations for slavery