While the demands of reparation for slavery and racism goes back 150 years, it has intensified since the 1990s, and numerous organizations have come to advocate multitude of policies around the country, which focused on U.S. historical wrongs with the goal to advance African American redress. Through political engagement and community-based efforts, activists, civil rights lawyers and scholars have worked persistently to illuminate the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow through local redress. Confronting the legacies of slavery, lynching and racism, the local demands and programs for redress provide the foundation of knowledge and advocacy to promote redress in multitude of communities.
Media has given attention to some high-profile examples such as Maryland’s resolution for lynching or Georgetown University’s efforts to make amends for their enslavement past. But most local restitution efforts are not so prominent and often lack greater support and cross-sector awareness. This website is an effort to heighten awareness of redress efforts that are less evident and to provide support to those working on the ground floor.
The mapping provides an opportunity to examine where and what redress policies are being implemented. This page also supports collective imagining and reckoning with what actions and change are possible. The resource center provides state-by-state contacts and examples of government supported reparations. Please add Your Voice to our database. Our wish is that this website will support those working within the field of African American redress and ultimately, help to secure a more just society.
This project is a collaboration between Howard University’s Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center and Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. To learn more visit about us and also learn about those who contributed to the success of our collaboration.
Photo credit and special thank you to Ms. Valerie Harris White, a Georgetown University enslaved descendant, who provided the archival newspaper clipping of her father’s death as the banner for our website. Valerie provided a comment on the loss of her father whose murder remains unsolved today. “I am the daughter of Rev. Simon E. Harris. My Dad was horrifically murdered in 1969. His murder was never resolved. I was 16 years old when this happened. I was devastated at how he died and angry that, in our family’s opinion, this was due to racial injustice.”