Call for Reparations After “Shameful” Slavery History

Event at DuSable to reissue the call

The United States Senate finally issued a formal, official apology for slavery last month.

The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (NCOBRA) thinks that's just a start, and today the organization will once again call for reparations in press conferences held around the country, including here in Chicago at the DuSable Museum of African American History.

"NCOBRA has long stated its position on the growing number if resolutions of profound regret and questionable apologies by units of government and private corporations. These resolutions should be viewed only as means to open dialogue about the elements of repair that must be included in a reparations accord. Our position is no different with this most recent Senate resolution," NCOBRA said in a statement.

"We must never forget that the struggle for reparations for the Holocaust of enslavement of African people is about the fundamental issues of human freedom, human justice, and the value we place on human life in the past as well as in the future."

Unlike a similar House resolution, though, the Senate apology specifically stated that it wasn't to be used in support of reparations claims, prompting Sen. Roland Burris to say at the time that "I want to go on record making sure that that disclaimer in no way would eliminate future actions that may be brought before this body that may deal with reparations."

Julianne Malveaux, president of the Bennett College for Women, wrote for Frost Illustrated that "The Senate apology, passed just two days before Juneteenth, the anniversary of the day that Texas slaves were informed that they were free (June 19, 1865, more than two years after the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation) represents growth for the U.S. Senate and the possibility of healing for our nation.

"It does not close the door, however, on a history that can only be described as shameful."

After the Senate resolution passed, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin said: "This should have been done 100 years ago."

Among those expected in attendance at today's event: Professor Conrad Worrill of the National Black United Front; former Ald. Dorothy Tilman, author of the Chicago Slavery Disclosure Act; attoreny Stan Willis of People United Against Police Brutality; Pat Hill of the African American Police League; and officials from The Temple of Mercy and The Black Star Project.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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