Reparations Activists Ready for New Phase in Long Struggle
April 19, 2015 7:00 AM·0 commentsViews: 83
By Linn Washington Jr.
NEW YORK — Racism is a topic that usually divides black and white Americans. However, iconic civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson said there is one contentious race-mired issue where blacks and whites seemingly share a similar posture.
Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and Mirelle Fanon-Mendes-France, Frantz Fanon’s daughter, speak at the National/International Reparations Conference last week in New York.
Rev. Jesse Jackson and Mirelle Fanon-Mendes-France, Frantz Fanon’s daughter, spoke at the National/International Reparations Conference last week in New York. Photo by Linn Washington, Jr.
“Blacks and whites have one thing in common. They will not discuss reparations,” Jackson said, defining reparations for slavery and post-slavery institutional racism as “repair for damage done.”
This common aversion among blacks and whites to address reparations comes from “different reasons” Jackson noted.
“On the topic of reparations, whites are in denial and blacks think reparations cannot be attained.”
Rev. Jackson offered his assessment of America’s reparations-denial-dynamic during his keynote address at the opening session of the International Reparations Summit held recently in New York City. Participants for that three-day conference came from three continents. The Institute of the Black World 21st Century, a research, policy and advocacy organization based in the United States convened the Summit.
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