The Challenge: The average white family has roughly 10 times the amount of wealth as the average Black family. White college graduates have over seven times more wealth than Black college graduates. The racial wealth gap in America started with slavery but hasn’t diminished over time. Centuries of discrimination and government policy, most powerfully through land and housing, took wealth earned by Black Americans before it had the opportunity to grow. Making the American Dream an equitable reality demands that wealth that was denied to Black Americans be restored in the form of individual cash payments that will close the Black-white racial wealth divide.
What Can Be Done: The most powerful and effective form of reparation would be a U.S. government federal reparations package that includes individual and collective benefits that build wealth and reduce debt for Black Americans. This could include things like individual payments, college tuition remission, student loan forgiveness and housing down payment or business grants for descendants of enslaved Black Americans. So far, the US government has shown little will to enact a reparations package despite several opportunities to do so. Many organizations are continuing to build grassroots movements to advocate for systematic reparations but, until the federal government takes action, individuals and philanthropic organizations can help to provide financial restitution to the descendants of enslaved people.
How Reparation Generation is meeting the challenge: Reparation Generation is an interracial movement of citizens who acknowledge America’s full history and apologize for the systemic racism which has been its legacy. Reparation Generation is building a bridge of truth and social solidarity to enact economic repair to Black Americans. 2020 marked the beginning of the greatest intergenerational wealth transfer in American history. In the next twenty years, Baby Boomers are expected to transfer trillions of dollars in wealth to their families. Reparation Generation seeks to redeploy this unprecedented, and often immorally produced, wealth to rectify a portion of the vestiges of slavery and systemic racism in America. As part of Reparation Generation, economic reconciliation decisions will be made by Black Americans to benefit Black Americans’ ability to build long term wealth.