Should America Pay?: Slavery and the Raging Debate on Reparations

Should America Pay?: Slavery and the Raging Debate on Reparations

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Raymond A. Winbush, Ph.D.

Growing interest in reparations for African Americans has prompted a range of responses, from lawsuits against major American corporations and a march in Washington to an anti-reparations ad campaign. As a result, the historical link between slavery and contemporary race relations is more potent and obvious than ever. Lawmakers, distinguished academics, and grassroots organizers have embraced the idea that reparations should be pursued vigorously in courts of law and legislative bodies. But others ask, Who should pay? And how would reparations help heal the wounds of the past?

This comprehensive collection -- the only one of its kind -- gathers together the seminal essays and key participants in the debate. Pro-reparations essays by an array of contributors, including Congressman John Conyers Jr., Christopher Hitchens, Professor Molefi Kete Asante, and activist Deadria C. Farmer-Paellmann, are balanced by counterarguments by Shelby Steele, Armstrong Williams, and linguist John McWhorter, among others. Also included are important documents such as the First Congressional Reparations Bill of 1867 and the Dakar Declaration of 2001.

Whether you are for or against reparations, Should America Pay? is the definitive sourcebook for future discussions on the subject and is invaluable to anyone looking for historical and legal insight into one of America's most urgent and passionate debates.


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