Reparations for a history of violence committed against African Americans.

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.

The Reconstruction Era

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.

Illustration of a group of hooded Ku Klux Klan members preparing to lynch president Abraham Lincoln, circa 1867

African American families gather the dead and wounded of Louisiana's state militia in Colfax, Louisiana on April 14, 1873

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Memphis, TN


May 1866

New Orleans, LA


July 1866

Pulaski, TN


January 7, 1868

Albany, GA


September 1868

Opelousas, LA


September 1868

St. Bernard Parish, LA


October 1868

Meridan, MS


March 1871

Colfax, LA


April 1873

Barbour County, AL


November 1874

Vicksburg, MS


December 1874

The Jim Crow Era

The Klan used public violence against black people and their allies as intimidation. They burned houses and attached and killed black people, leaving their bodies on the roads.

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.

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Danville, VA


May 1866

Carrollton, MS


July 1866

Thibodaux, LA


January 7, 1868

Polk County, AR


September 1868

Wilmington, NC


September 1868

Springfield, IL


August 1906

Atlanta, GA


September 1906

Slocum, TX


July 1910

East St. Louis, MO


July 1917

Cover of "Le Petit Journal", 7 October, 1906. Depicting the race riots in Atlanta, Georgia. "The Lynching in the United States - The Massacre of Negroes in Atlanta"

Wilmington, N.C. race riot, 1898: Armed rioters in front of the burned-down "Record" press building

The "Red Summer" of 1919

Throughout 1919, and especially during the summer months, white supremacist terrorism and racial riots occurred in more than fifty cities and towns across the United States, as well as several rural areas. In addition, white mobs lynched at least 43 African Americans, with 8 men were burned at the stake The anti-black violence was caused by a variety forces following World War I, including an economic slump, labor unrest, and increased competition in the job and housing markets between ethnic European Americans and African Americans. In addition, many feared socialist and communist influence on the black civil rights movement following the 1917 Russian Revolution The riots and massacres included:

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Jenkins County, GA



Charleston, SC



Washington, DC



Indianapolis, IN



Chicago, IL



Knoxville, TN



Omaha, NE



Elaine, AR



Corbin, KY



A house with broken windows and debris in the front yard African American family evacuating their house after it was vandalized in the 1919 Chicago race riot

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

A white gang hunting African Americans during the Chicago race riot

Family leaving damaged home after 1919 Chicago race riot

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

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Ocoee, FL


November 1920

Rosewood, FL


January 1923

Johnstown, PA


September 1923

Catcher, AR


December 29, 1923

Ku Klux Klan parade in Washington, D.C. in 1926

Lynching in the U.S. reached their height from the 1890s to the 1920s, and they primarily targeted African Americans and other ethnic minorities.

News coverage of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot

A cabin burns in Rosewood, FL January 4, 1923

Tulsa, OK


May 31 + June 1, 1921

Buildings burning during the Tulsa race massacre of 1921

Aftermath of the Tulsa race massacre, June 1, 1921

The Civil Rights Era to the Present

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Birmingham, AL


September 1963

Orangeburg, SC


February 1968

Greensboro, NC


November 1979

Philadelphia, PA


May 1985

Charleston, SC


June 2015

The surroundings of the 16th Street Baptist Church after the explosion, Biringham, AL

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.

What is being done to begin to make reparations for all of these crimes?

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.:

  1. A formal apology and establishment of a MAAFA/African Holocaust Institute.
  2. The right of repatriation and creation of an African knowledge program.
  3. The right to land for social and economic development.
  4. Funds for cooperative enterprises and socially responsible entrepreneurial development.
  5. Resources for the health, wellness and healing of black families and communities.
  6. Education for community development and empowerment.
  7. Affordable housing for healthy black communities and wealth generation.
  8. Strengthening Black America’s information and communications infrastructure.
  9. Preserving Black sacred sites and monuments.
  10. Repairing the damages of the “criminal injustice system.”


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.”

Please support legislation pending in the House of Representatives: H.R. 40 – Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act.

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.