When people talk about “reparations” for African Americans they usually mean reparations for slavery—250 years of chattel bondage—but African Americans deserve compensation for a long list of crimes committed against them well after emancipation.
White supremacists, often including the Ku Klux Klan, carried out many acts of violence during the Reconstruction era in an effort to stop African Americans from advancing.
African American families gather the dead and wounded of Louisiana's state militia in Colfax, Louisiana on April 14, 1873
Nocturnal gathering of robed and hooded Ku Klux Klan men in 1921-1922. Photo by National Photo Company and was likely taken within 100 miles of Washington, D.C.
Wilmington, N.C. race riot, 1898: Armed rioters in front of the burned-down "Record" press building
African American man assaulted with stones during the Chicago Race Riot
African American neighborhood destroyed by fire during 1919 Chicago Race Riot. Chicago's South Side
US News coverage of the Putnam County, Georgia, arson attack
The charred corpse of Will Brown after being killed, mutilated, and burned by a white mob during the Omaha race riot
News coverage of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot
A cabin burns in Rosewood, FL January 4, 1923
Aftermath of the Tulsa race massacre, June 1, 1921
The four girls killed in the bombing (clockwise from top left): Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Carol Denise McNair
A mob of racists beats Freedom Riders in Brimingham, Alabama. This picture was reclaimed by the FBI from a local journalist who also was beaten and whose camera was smashed.
Aerial view of smoke rising from smouldering rubble where some 60 homes were destroyed by fire after a shoot out and bombing at the back-to-nature terrorist group MOVE's house in West Philadelphia, PA while police were attempting to force the group's eviction.
Photographs of the nine victims killed at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina are held up by congregants during a prayer vigil at the Metropolitan AME Church June 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. Dylan Storm Roof was convicted for perpetrating the Charleston church shooting and confessed that he committed the shooting in hopes of igniting a race war. Roof’s actions in Charleston have been widely described as domestic terrorism.
National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC)
The NAARC has developed preliminary recommendations to guide the struggle for reparations for people of African descent in the U.S.:
From the preamble:
“A political and economic system infected with white supremacy and structural/institutional racism persisted in retarding the dreams and aspirations of a people courageously striving to sustain families, build institutions and create healthy communities in a hostile land. The devastating damages of enslavement and systems of apartheid and de facto segregation spanned generations to negatively affect the collective well being of Africans in America to this very moment. Indeed, despite the civil rights/human rights “gains” achieved by the Black Freedom Struggle, the crises that continue to plague millions of Black people are incontrovertible proof that the disease of white supremacy still permeates the socio-economic and political culture, structures, institutions and systems of this society.”
To address the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865 and to establish a commission to study and consider a national apology and proposal for reparations for the institution of slavery, its subsequent de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against African-Americans, and the impact of these forces on living African-Americans, to make recommendations to the Congress on appropriate remedies, and for other purposes.