Is Now the Time for Reparations for Black Americans?

Is Now the time for Reparations for Black Americans?

There were writers who contributed on the position they are in Is Now The Time for Reparations for African Americans. There was Robert L. Allen who was on the Yes side and Roger Clegg on the No side.

Reparation is a form of compensation to one party by another due to occurrence of loss or a wrong done. For reparation to occur there must be two conflicting parties, one party acts superior than the other. The superior party subjects the inferior party to hardships for example slavery[1]. In America we have the whites and the blacks, the whites make the largest percentage of American population while the African Americans make up the highest of the minority racial.

According to Allen, the mode, which African Americans got a share of America’s wealth, was a clear indication of slavery. He believes that America is not in a position to say that it has shunned away from color discrimination. He believes that America kills and does not fully support things that help to oppose the discrimination of race. He goes through history to portray what African American went through during slavery. He is for equal distribution of power, resources and wealth between the whites and the blacks. The calls made were not for the gain of money but the call was made for a wholesome change in the way black people were handled and the breaking of chains of slavery under Capitalism and Imperialism[2].

The republic of new Africa (RNA) was formed in 1968. It came up with Anti-Depression Program that was for reparation of African Americans. The Black Manifesto was concerned much with the institution of the church and independence of the people. RAN was much focused on funds from the government which were to boost the lively hood of the blacks. The fund was meant to change the life style of the blacks and at least have their own kingdom.

The likes of Bishop McNeal Henry pointed out that the blacks were owed by the state $40 billion. He suggested that the money to be compensated in the form of paying college fee for African American youths. Reparations calls were presented by the Muslim community who wanted an establishment of a state for blacks alone and their needs be met for a period of time. Religious institutions were for reparation of African American.

For The Economists writers they are against reparation of African American. They portray the difficulty there is and the differences that drifts the blacks and whites. He shows that the African American deserved what they experienced then and should learn from what happened. They are against any association of America with the compensation of African Americans. According to them the cartels[3] involved in slavery has been so far changed to the better hence this should not be insisted on. There is also no measure to give how the compensation should be offered. They support their stand from the opinion of the people where 70% of the whites voted against reparation. The Economists took advantage of the differences among black leaders.

The African American’s rights were violated and they were subjected to injustice dating back from the end of Civil War[4]. Even today new forms of unfairness to the African American are being practiced every day. It is exercising racial injustice in a hibernated manner, and this is pushing the African Americans to fight for their rights. There is notable underdevelopment of the African American in the areas that they occupy. This is due to unequal distribution of resources and wealth is also a cause for reparation. Deduction of present distinction is not enough to stop the effects of the involvement of the state to support unequal distribution of wealth to the African American.

The state itself is on the spotlight over its position on the matter of African Americans. There are rules imposed that are discriminated the African Americans. Government gets its resources from taxing its citizens fairly, but in some cases you find that African Americans are taxed unfairly. In 1668 in Virginia, the race was used as a determining factor of taxation whereby you find free black women were being taxed heavily. Beyond any reasonable doubt the state should reimburse blacks on every single coin collected from them through the discriminatory means and discontinue that vice. The effects of the tax are passed down from one generation to another which is cementing the discrimination.

Some individuals gained lots of benefits from slavery through financing the trade. Despite the barn of slavery banks and insurance firms made handsome amounts of money from slavery which in the long run could not be assed how much they made. Making profit at the expense of hard and forced labour on the other human beings is a very inhuman thing. The African Americans need to be compensated by the individual firms which made them slaves in their industries. These Africans were subjected to offering hard labour with very little or even no pay. Many people lost their life in these industries since they were not given any medical attention when they needed it. The working conditions did not meet any lowest standards in the employment sector.

The generations that have been brought up in the African American society recently might not have been subjected industrial hard labour. But the fact remains that their parents were subjected to the industrial hardships. This generation needs to be given a part on the back to honor the efforts of the ancestors. In respect of the bitter sweat from the African slaves, the blood that was shed and the life lost.

Competition was rising at a high rate; demand of goods and services was getting up every day. This meant that the industries needed to put more effort and increase output, this interpreted to increased labour. For the industries to meet customers demand, they had to exert more pressure on the African Americans, and also add more laborers. The profits and benefits got by the industries were not extended to the African Americans whose labour was used to acquire the benefits. Reparation should be done at least to crown the efforts of African American they contributed to industries. It is hard to have a measure of how much should be paid and to whom payments should be done. But their efforts should be acknowledged and their contribution should be made known.   

The undermining of the human dignity was ventured by the rich who invested their money in slavery. They financed cartels that were concerned with fishing Africans and brought them in the foreign land. They detached[5] Africans from their society and family, distorted their culture and made them believe that they were less human and they deserved to be accorded no rights. What the African Americans went through was more than physical torture but even social and psychological torture. Why not even a thanking note from the sponsors of the trade?   

The economists have a great concern of why the present African Americans should be compensated. They see no relationship between the past and the present where they feel that there is no means that can be used to identify the victims of segregation and slavery. They down play the present conditions the blacks are in as a result of the events that happened in the future. Survivors of Alaska received compensation which showed that even Americans recognize and accept reparation. Such arguments from the economists create a barrier to the State in reparation process. It is good to look about other examples of reparation trends that have been done there before, their motives and the reason behind them happening.

For a long time the African American remained with no political say. They had no right to vote and they had no representative in the government for a very long time. This discrimination meant that African American grievances could not be passed to the state for discussions. Blacks would not be involved in making rules hence the rules made by the whites will be favoring them alone. Lack of political rights resulted to blacks not being in a position to own property of their own for a long time. Other groups like the Irish were having the political rights hence they were able to maneuver and advance in the society, leaving the Africans behind.

America grew and accumulated wealth from at the expense of slavery[6]. The cheap and hard labour from the African American contributed wholesomely to the development of America. There was no technology advancement hence for growth to occur there must be some input that should be given to be converted to the required output. African American labour was the input that was converted to wealth, growth and expansion in America. By the end of the day that wealth was for the whites only. There are arguments that Africans then were not educated hence had no obligation to own a thing or even have good working conditions.


Yes, slavery was widely exercised; discrimination is still rampant in America. The past is gone and tomorrow is coming; the big question is what role is each individual playing to make the relationship more adhesive. To achieve this suffering subjected to the African American should be addressed and recognized. The laws should be revised to ensure that there is no room for racism. Being black or white is just color but all in all were human beings who have the same feelings and should get equal rights. Reparation should be done in an effort to appreciate the efforts done by African American who worked tirelessly for the growth and development of America.

The case study has been educative to me in such a way that I managed to see the other side of the coin. Discriminating Africans is a national issue that should be addressed urgently. The human rights act should be amended to discourage color discrimination; the government should ensure equal distribution of resources and employment opportunities to all. 


[1] Slavery is the act of owning human beings as property in order to use them for hard and forced labour.

[2] Capitalism is economic system that is applied in a particular State where most economic decisions are made by the free markets. Imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism.

[3] Examples of cartels included the likes of Fleet-Boston’s ancestor, who invested in the slave trade even the time that it was declared illegal.

[4] This is a war between people within the same State who are well organized where the aim is to take control or a certain region.

[5] This is the act of separation and taking apart from.

[6] Since there was no advanced technology and energy, America relied on the African labour for development and production in industries.