Reparations gained historic momentum in 2023 because of California’s efforts


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By Curtis Bunn, NBC

Governor Newsom signing bill into law
CA Gov. Gavin Newsom signs into law a bill that establishes a task force to come up with recommendations on reparations for Black Americans. Office of the Governor via Associated Press

For the first time, this year advocates seeking reparations for the harms inflicted on Black people during centuries of slavery in America saw a movement for redress that elicits hope.

Many municipalities either started or are forming commissions to address compensation to the descendants of enslaved Africans.

California has made the most zealous effort. The state’s reparations task force spent two years researching the impact of the generational damage of the discriminatory practices and produced a 1,100-page report with comprehensive recommendations that it considers to be the blueprint for other cities and states — and the federal government — to follow.


While Evanston, Illinois, became the first city in the country in 2021 to actually pay reparations to its eligible Black residents, and New York recently enacted a commission to study the effects of slavery there, California’s push represents a major swing in the decadeslong fight for reparations. Yet Californians are looking ahead to the next year to see if any of these recommendations will actually come to fruition — and if there is enough political will to make it so.

The original article details opposition to these efforts.

Financial reparations recognize the hardships caused by racism and slavery.

More stories about the Black experience.

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