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Dec 5, 2023

Reparations for Black Americans is not a new idea—before the U.S. Civil War had ended, there was a proposal to provide freed Black people with “40 acres and a mule.” That did not materialize, and in the ensuing century and a half, the Black descendants of formerly enslaved people have faced systemic injustices, discrimination, and violence. In this episode, Professor William “Sandy” Darity, Jr. and Kirsten Mullen explain what a meaningful reparations program for Black Americans would entail, how eligibility should be determined, and why the federal government is both the “culpable and capable party.”

Sandy Darity is the Samuel Dubois Cook Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, African and African-American Studies, and Economics at Duke University. He is also an IRP Affiliate. Professor Darity's research focuses broadly on stratification; economics on inequality by race, class, and ethnicity; and the economics of reparations. Kirsten Mullen is a writer, folklorist, museum consultant, and lecturer whose work focuses on race, art, history, and politics. Together they are the authors of "From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century," and are also two of the editors of "The Black Reparations Project, A Handbook for Racial Justice."