California could soon give reparations to Black residents

According to a new report from Bill Keveney of USAToday California could soon give reparations to Black people in the state.

Here’s what that could look like:

After publishing a sweeping historical account linking Black oppression from the slavery era to systemic racism today, the California Reparations Task Force now faces its most challenging task: figuring out the structure and the cost of a reparations plan for descendants of enslaved people.

In a nearly 500-page interim report, the task force laid out a detailed history of slavery, Jim Crow segregation and continuing discrimination and how that created structural racism that persists, as evidenced in the huge wealth gap between Black and white Americans.

The panel and its report were to be recognized Thursday when the California Legislature memorializes Juneteenth, a federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans. Meanwhile, across the country in Washington, D.C., a coalition of civil and human rights groups will hold a Juneteenth press conference to call on President Joe Biden to issue an executive order to develop reparations proposals.

Financial reparations, along with an apology, would acknowledge an oppressive history and show an effort to atone, necessary elements for reconciliation, said California state Sen. Steven Bradford, a member of the task force.

“It will never make people whole who are the descendants of slaves, but understanding that America and California does owe a debt to African Americans” is significant, he said. “There is a debt still owed to African Americans who built this country.”

Read more here.