In California, a task force was established to develop suggestions for reparations for slavery. Now, the descendants of slaves in California are set to receive $223,200 each in slavery reparations.
According to a California reparations committee, each descendant of a slave in the state should receive $223,200 in damages for “housing discrimination.”
Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, established the nine-person Reparations Task Force as part of the nation’s biggest-ever attempt to handle slavery reparations.
Housing discrimination has been a priority of the California task force; per the New York Times, it would require around $569 billion to make up for the hardships experienced by the 2.5 million Black Californians between 1933 and 1977.
That is more than the $512.8 billion California spent on education, healthcare, higher education, infrastructure, policing, and incarceration in 2021.
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However, the panel is still debating how payments should be provided; some have recommended housing and tuition allowances, while others have proposed cash.
Four more factors for reparations have been identified by the task force: mass incarceration, unfair property seizures, devaluation of Black-owned businesses, and health care.
It must deliver its final recommendations to the Legislature by June 2023.
Following meetings held across the state with individuals of Black communities to adequately comprehend the economic effects of slavery, they made their estimates.
‘We are looking at reparations on a scale that is the largest since Reconstruction,’ task force member Jovan Scott Lewis, a Berkeley professor, told the Times.
Russell City, a former settlement that formerly stood close to the San Francisco coastline and offered refuge to Black families escaping persecution in the Deep South, is one instance of housing discrimination the task force has taken into consideration.
People who once resided in Russell City, which has since been bulldozed, informed the task force that their neighborhood was converted into an industrial park and that its residents were evicted.
Monique Henderson-Ford, a previous occupant, told the Times that she received $2,200 for her house, less than a third of what she spent for it.
‘Imagine if the houses were still here,’ she said. ‘We would all be sitting on a fortune.’
According to the most recent Federal Reserve Board Survey of Consumer Finances, Black households in the US had a median worth of $24,100, compared to white households’ median wealth of $188,200, the Times stated.
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A bill that would have prolonged its life was vetoed by Newsom following a task force meeting in September.
Reggie Jones-Sawyer, a member of the task committee and of the Assembly, sponsored the bill that would have allowed them to continue deliberating until 2024.
Some objected to the plan, but Jones-Sawyer felt it would give opportunity to hear additional testimony.
‘[The bill which would extend] is a betrayal of Black Americans,’ said Tiffany Quarles, a member of the audience during one hearing, CalMatters reported. ‘We’ve been waiting for 400 years. We do not need an extension.’
In September, the task force convened at the California Science Center in South Los Angeles.
In that discussion, it was discussed whether payments should be paid just to residents of California as well as the time period during which harms should be taken into account.
Additionally, it stated that it had been talking to historians about how reparations had been handled in the past, such as following World War II.
Its government website lists mid-December as the date for its upcoming sessions.
The taskforce produced a 500-page report earlier this year explaining the reasons why African Americans who are descended from slaves from the 19th century should get “comprehensive reparations.”