Friday, December 8, 2023

40 Acres and a Mule?

February 23, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Money, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( In the past few years, there has been a great cry from the American Descendant of Slavery (ADOS) for full reparations and black economic agenda. The organization has a treasure trove of information for those willing to seek it out ( about the movement, its goal, and a road map to reparations. The talk of African Americans receiving reparations has been going since General William T. Sherman used Special Field Order 15 to strip wealthy planters of their lands and give 40-acre parcels to newly freed peoples. General Sherman’s order only lasted until the end of Reconstruction as many Americans lost their passion for war after families had literally been torn apart by the chaos. Once cooler heads began to prevail all of the advances that Black families had made after the war and during Reconstruction were either lost or stifled so they could not excel. Since this time, African Americans have always toyed with the idea of America giving back what she took. The issue of reparations is always a hot button because it causes the United States of America to truly examine her past and view herself in an unfavorable light. If we are to have this conversation in America, we have to rip off the band-aids of uncomfortable truth and pain.

The paint that must be discussed has been written into our DNA and cannot be reversed. The trauma patterns that were developed during our ancestor’s years in bondage carry on today and hinder quite a few of us. Even I am stymied by some habits that were developed out of necessity and now serve us absolutely no purpose. These conversations are not easy to have especially if the interlocutor is not a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color) because they can become uncomfortable and at times defensive. When non-BIPOC persons feel any conversation about American slavery about to turn towards the U.S.A. compensating the descendants of their gruesome trade then the next line is. “Why should I have to pay you? You weren’t a slave nor any of your immediate family.” This argument has always amused me as if you look at the timeline between African Americans gaining rights that every American has, it really hasn’t been that long. I put it in terms of my parents and grandparents because they can remember a time where there were “separate but equal” bathrooms and seats on buses.


This means it was only approximately 70 years ago that the U.S. still had these discriminatory practices in place. (If you are interested in a fairly detailed account of African American history since the founding of the Americas, you can visit Before that African Americans had to endure slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights eras which amassed to 400 years of systemic racism and oppression. In these terms, it does not matter if anyone alive related to African Americans was enslaved because the enslavement simply changed form and name. The physical chains were dropped in place of financial and legal restraints. It has been proven time and time again that slavery and her defacto systems made an enormous wealth gap between African Americans and our non-BIPOC neighbors. When this disparity is pointed out, everyone gets uncomfortable. The U.S. has paid reparations and acknowledged their wrong doing. America paid Japanese Americans (World War II Internment camps) $38 million in 1948 in reparations and then awarded $20,000 to each survivor in 1990.

The US also wronged the Aleuts of Alaska during WW2 (deporting to Internment camps) and in 1988 the living survivors were compensated with $12,000. The US even gave more money for loss and damages done to the community during WW2. North Carolina paid $10 million in reparations to those who were victims of certain eugenics and forced sterilization programs in 2013 with Virginia following suit in 2015. The ancestors who were victimized during the Tuskegee Experiments were paid $10 million and in 1995, the victims, their spouses and children were guaranteed medical care for life. Victims of the Rosewood Massacre in Florida received $2.1 million in 1994. Even the City of Chicago acknowledged their wrongdoing and gave reparations to black prisoners who had been tortured by the police and made to give coerced false confessions to the sum of $5.5 million in 2015.

If these situations can be resolved, then why can’t we have a serious conversation and form a committee for Congress to look into reparations for the American descendants of Slaves?

Staff Writer; Jessieca Carr

One may connect with this sister online over at Instagramsusiecarmichael1920 and Twitternoladarling1920.

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