San Francisco, CA

$5 million payments being considered for black reparations in San Francisco

Pete Lakeman

San Francisco city supervisors have backed the idea of giving reparations to its eligible black residents. The federal government’s promise of giving each freed slave a mule and 40 acres of land was never implemented.The more than 100 proposals include a $5 million lump sum. The final decision is expected to be known later in the year. Supporters of giving reparations point to the redlining and other restrictions forced on black people which determined where they could live or do business. A lot of black people immigrated to San Francisco in the 1940s because of shipyard work.

Frustrated by the many limitations, black people built a thriving neighborhood in the Fillmore. “Government redevelopment plans in the 1960s forced out residents, stripped them of their property and decimated Black-owned businesses, advocates say. Today, fewer than 6% of San Francisco residents are Black yet they make up nearly 40% of the city’s homeless population.”

Advocates for reparations, including the “San Francisco NAACP, although it said the board should reject the $5 million payments and focus instead on reparations through education, jobs, housing, health care and a cultural center for Black people in San Francisco.” Meanwhile critics point out that California never endorsed chattel slavery, and that there’s no slave owner or anyone who was enslaved that’s alive today.

It’s not clear how the city would make the payments and the advisory board says that its job is to give recommendations while leaving their adoption and implementation to the politicians.

Disclaimer: This article was written for educational and/or informational purposes only.

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I'm credentialed social studies and biological sciences teacher with over twenty years of classroom experience. I'm an avid gardener and tech DIYer and I love nature walks.

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