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The kidnapping, torture, enslavement, forced labor, family separation, and forced reproduction of Africans and African descended people, along with colonization, theft of land and genocide of Indigenous peoples, served as the foundation of the U.S. economy since its inception.
The Movement for Black Lives calls for full and comprehensive reparations to all affected African nations, and to all descendants of enslaved Africans in the United States, for the devastating and genocidal harms flowing from colonialism, the transatlantic slave trade and the institution of chattel slavery in the United States. We demand reparations for past and continuing, and future harms flowing from colonialism, chattel slavery, state sanctioned terror and segregation, land theft, mass incarceration and surveillance and their continuing impacts.
Additionally, we call for reparations to all African descended people in the United States for harms flowing from the “badges and incidents” of slavery: state-sanctioned segregation and racial terror of the Jim Crow era, and the ongoing effects of centuries of racial segregation, discrimination, and structural exclusion.
We call for reparations for all Black people in the U.S. who have been subject to practices representing a continuation of harms inflicted in the context of chattel slavery, including family separation, state sponsored sterilization and medical experimentation, mass criminalization and incarceration constituting the “new Jim Crow,” and for the violence, institutionalization, discrimination and structural exclusion specifically targeting disabled Black people, and disabling Black people. Finally, we call for reparations for all Black people who have been harmed by the U.S. government’s anti-Black immigration policies and practices, including those who have been deported pursuant to these policies.
The U.S. government, responsible corporations, educational, religious, philanthropic and other institutions that have profited off of labor, bodies, and lives of Black people — from colonialism to slavery to Jim Crow to ongoing educational, employment, food and housing segregation, structural exclusion and discrimination, mass incarceration, and surveillance — must repair the harm done. Reparations must be made in full for these violations of international law, and must include full compensation for stolen lives, labor, children, wages, land, businesses, homes, health, well-being, sexual, gender and reproductive autonomy, culture, language, and spirituality, and for torture, rape, and other forms of physical and sexual violence.
Consistent with our commitment to amplifying the particular experiences of state gendered violence that Black queer, trans, gender nonconforming, women and intersex people face, we also demand reparations for the harms and ongoing impacts of the forced imposition of patriarchy on Black people, the construction and enforcement of racialized gender norms to exclude and justify violence against Black women, girls, trans, nonbinary and gender nonconforming people, systemic and systematic rape, sexual torture and degradation, forced abortion, forced parenting and caregiving, separation from children through forced labor, sale and high infant mortality rates caused by the conditions of enslavement, separation from family members, medical and gynecological experimentation, forced sterilization, shackling during labor and delivery inherent to chattel slavery and its aftermath. We also demand reparations historical and ongoing oppression of Black disabled people through institutionalization and torture in state institutions and hospitals, denial of care and resources to meet basic needs, and the disabling effects of slavery, state terror, and structural state violence, discrimination and exclusion.
Organizations currently working on policy
National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC)
National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA)
Authors & Contributors of this Policy Overview
Andrea J. Ritchie
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