cover image The Black Reparations Project: A Handbook for Racial Justice

The Black Reparations Project: A Handbook for Racial Justice

Edited by William A. Darity Jr., A. Kirsten Mullen, and Lucas Hubbard. Univ. of California, $24.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-520-38381-4

Darity, professor of public policy at Duke University, and folklorist Mullen (coauthors, From Here to Equality) join forces with researcher Hubbard (coeditor, The Pandemic Divide) to present a convincing and concrete plan for paying reparations to Black Americans. In a series of lucid and well-researched essays, contributors detail racial inequalities in wealth, housing, education, and healthcare, and explain how slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, and other forms of structural racism entrenched and exacerbated those inequalities. For example, Duke University developmental psychologist Keisha Bentley-Edwards details how the 1910 Flexner Report, “often heralded as the turning point in modern medical training,” led to the closure of all but two Black medical schools, severely undermining Black medical professionals and health outcomes for Black patients. In the book’s second half, contributors look to previous examples of reparations, including U.S. government payments to Japanese families interned during WWII; discuss how to garner public support for closing the racial wealth gap through a system of direct payments to Black Americans; and provide case studies in establishing direct lineal descent to an enslaved ancestor, which would be required under the editors’ plan. Scholarly and thorough, this is a valuable asset for activists and lawmakers seeking to advance the cause of reparations. (May)