Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Black Live Matters: Reparations Policy Agenda

Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Black Live Matters: Reparations Policy Agenda

Article excerpt

Reparations

The making of amends for a wrong that has been done--whether by individuals, corporations, government or other major institutions--by paying money, control of land, housing, jobs, health care, transportation and even finance and trade.--Agenda to Build Black Futures and UN Working Group of Experts: Mississippi Mission, US South Human Rights Abuses, Workers Rights and Economic Justice Testimony

Responsible Business/Accountable Business

Responsible Business/Accountable Business is a position by which a business will be held in check or account for their decisions and actions. An accountable business requires a commitment to the vision of Black and other oppressed peoples to assume self-determination over those areas deemed by Black and other oppressed people to directly affect their lives. "Responsible" or "Accountable" businesses must meet three basic criteria: provide living wage jobs for community residents; adhere to ethical labor and investment standards; treat workers and consumers/clients with dignity and respect; and make regular charitable contributions that support Black communities.

We demand reparations for past and continuing harms. The government, responsible corporations and other institutions that have profited off of the harm they have inflicted on Black people--from colonialism to slavery through food and housing redlining, mass incarceration, and surveillance--must repair the harm done. This includes:

* Reparations for the systemic denial of access to high quality educational opportunities in the form of full and free access for all Black people (including undocumented and currently and formerly incarcerated people) to lifetime education including: free access and open admissions to public community colleges and universities, technical education (technology, trade and agricultural), educational support programs, retroactive forgiveness of student loans, and support for lifetime learning programs.

* Reparations for the continued divestment from, discrimination toward and exploitation of our communities in the form of a guaranteed minimum livable income for all Black people, with clearly articulated corporate regulations.

* Reparations for the wealth extracted from our communities through environmental racism, slavery, food apartheid, housing discrimination and racialized capitalism in the form of corporate and government reparations focused on healing ongoing physical and mental trauma, and ensuring our access and control of food sources, housing and land.

* Reparations for the cultural and educational exploitation, erasure, and extraction of our communities in the form of mandated public school curriculums that critically examine the political, economic, and social impacts of colonialism and slavery, and funding to support, build, preserve, and restore cultural assets and sacred sites to ensure the recognition and honoring of our collective struggles and triumphs.

* Legislation at the federal and state level that requires the United States to acknowledge the lasting impacts of slavery, establish and execute a plan to address those impacts. This includes the immediate passage of H.R.40, the "Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act" or subsequent versions which call for reparations remedies.

Reparations for the systemic denial of access to high quality educational opportunities in the form of full and free access for all Black people (including undocumented, currently, and formerly incarcerated people) to lifetime education including: free access and open admissions to all public universities and colleges, technical education (technology, trade, and agricultural), educational support programs, retroactive forgiveness of student loans, and support for lifetime learning programs.

What is the Problem?

* Education in the U.S. has always been a subversive act for Black people. …

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