Arc of Justice series finale. The U.S. government and governments of other countries have paid reparations to a wide range of people and groups, for a variety of wrongs, throughout history. But reparations to Black Americans have not been paid to date. In this episode: listen in on a live conversation about reparations with some of today’s top advocates for a federal rollout. How would the debt be calculated? Who would qualify? What methods might work? Would reparations fix racial inequality?
Arc of Justice series episode 5: Throughout the nation’s history, promising signs of Black American progress have been shattered by acts of violence serving the interests of white supremacy. The extent of that violence is widespread and ongoing. From lynchings to the decimation of entire communities by white mob savagery with deadly and far-reaching consequences. Examples of this American brand of white violence affected Black wealth and Black lives in Colfax (1873) and Coushatta, Louisiana (1874), Wilmington, North Carolina (1898), Atlanta (1906), Elaine, Arkansas and Chicago (1919), in Ocoee, Florida (1920) and the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma (1921), to name only a few.
Arc of Justice series episode 4: Time and again, the route to upward mobility in American society has been blocked for Black people. Consider the G.I. Bill, which provided college education and housing benefits for veterans after World War II. The G.I. Bill was a conveyor belt into the middle class for millions of white WWII veterans, but many Black veterans were excluded and subsequent generations continue to feel the effects.
Arc of Justice series episode 3: Home ownership played an important role in how many Americans built wealth in the 20th century. Yet, Black Americans faced significant obstacles on the path to owning a home in the same time period. In this episode, how U.S. government policies promoted residential segregation and destroyed African-American neighborhoods in the process.
Arc of Justice series episode 1: The promise of “40 acres and a mule” officially was made in 1865 when the U.S. government decided that newly freed African-Americans should have a plot of land to call their own. Three years earlier, when 90% of Black Americans still were enslaved, the federal government enacted the Homestead Act and started offering free 160-acre plots of land to settlers, mostly white Americans. A tale of two promises made by the government — one kept, one broken — that helps explain the existing wealth gap between Black and white Americans.
Arc of Justice series episode 1: It hasn’t been very long at all since we were one nation under slavery. The effects still linger. One example: Today, white households in Boston have a median net worth of about $247,000. The median net worth of a Black household in Boston is a mere $8. You read that right. What could have been done, and what could still be done, to start to close the wealth gap between white and Black Americans? Welcome to The ARC of Justice.