American University Financial Reparations for Slavery Economics Essay


The topic is should the US Government provide income or wealth-based subsidies to children, or some sort of financial reparations for slavery? Yes, and I choose:
Evanston’s program—homeownership and improvement grants to those who can prove they are the descendants of people who lived in the town between 1919 and 1969 and suffered discrimination.

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Evanston’s Program
What is Evanston’s program
In 2002—-HR-40—-Resolution 43-R-02, “Slave Reparations.”
In November 2019, the Evanston City Council adopted Resolution 126-R-19, “Establishing the City
of Evanston Reparations Fund and the Reparations Subcommittee.”
Evanston offers compensation to eligible black residents.
The resolution committed the first ten million dollars ($10,000,000.00) of the City’s Municipal
Cannabis Retailers’ Occupation Tax (3% on gross sales of cannabis) to fund local reparations for
housing and economic development programs for Black Evanston residents.
As part of the first initiative : the city will disperse $25,000 for home down payments, mortgage
payments or home repairs to a limited number of Black applicants who qualify for the program.
Harm from what it describes as “discriminatory housing policies and practices and city
inaction.” The program is considered the first of its kind in the United States and is seen by
advocates as a potential national model.
“Commitment to End Structural Racism and Achieve Racial Equity,” the City of Evanston
government recognizes the government allowed and perpetuated racial disparities through
the use of many regulatory and policy-oriented tools.
Goal? Benefit?
Revitalize, preserve, and stabilize Black/African-American owner occupied homes in Evanston;
Increase homeownership and build the wealth of Black/African-American residents;
Build intergenerational equity amongst Black/African-American residents;
Improve the retention rate of Black/African-American homeowners in the City of Evanston.
Indemnity first appeared as a promise in early 1865, a promise that was not fulfilled. By the end of
1865, President Johnson had overturned the land redistribution order.——“40 acres and a mule.”
Over the decades, Black Americans have experienced a range of injustices, from the Black Code to
Jim Crow and Red Lines—American policies broadly that have kept many Black communities from
achieving generational wealth-building.
The deprivation of resources in black neighborhoods, combined with a lack of investment, has
contributed to a widening wealth gap between the city’s white and black residents.
Today, Evanston is the first city in the United States to fund reparations, pledging $10 million over
the next decade to repay black residents for the wrongs and cumulative losses caused by generations
of racism.
People say:
She hopes her support will help families in her community get some relief from the burden
through compensation.
“We can’t erase our history of anti-Black laws and culture, but we can fix it,”
“I’m looking at what we’ve done, what else we can do, and compensation is the only answer.”
“We did something that a lot of black families couldn’t do in Evanston, which was to build a house
from the ground up.”
“The city has done something no other city in the country has done.”
“I can’t wait to celebrate the family getting their first settlement. I can’t wait for that day.”
Reparation Or New Housing Plan
The program is not without its critics.
Evanston City Council approves plan by 8 to 1 vote
The vote against the program came from a black congresswoman, Cicely Fleming.
She said she fully supports reparations, but denounced the program as a “disguised housing plan”.
Unlike cash payments, allow people to decide what is best for them, This policy has no authority to exempt
direct payments from state or federal income taxes, which means any recipient of such benefits will bear
the tax burden.
It Is Not Enough
Who will be funded and who will make choices?
What if residents own homes that do not need renovation?
Why can’t recipients use the money as they wish?
Evanston’s plan will not correct the systemic racism that has been built over decades by federal, state and local
Slavery, racism, and historical discrimination in housing and criminal justice have combined to rob black Americans of
dignity, opportunity, and trillions of dollars. This is evident in the racial wealth gap: the average white family has
approximately 10 times the wealth of the average black family.
The Evanston Plan is a form of compensation.
In Evanston’s case, the housing assistance program is directly related to past mistakes of housing
discrimination against affected blacks.
Homeownership is important because it is the most common form of wealth accumulation in the
United States. In order to compensate for the racial wealth gap, some form of housing subsidy must
be included.
Over time, homes tend to appreciate in value . Investments in housing generate other investments,
such as in better schools and infrastructure.
Other cities and universities are implementing or outlining reparations programs. States such as
Virginia and Maryland are also moving in this direction, and some companies are making significant financial
commitments to racial justice organizations.
Evanston’s answer is not perfect or final. It is just the beginning.
ABC News Network. (n.d.). ABC News. Retrieved April 11, 2022, from
City of Evanston. Evanston Local Reparations | City of Evanston. (n.d.). Retrieved April 11, 2022, from,owner%2Doccupied%20homes%20in%20Evanston
Perry, A. M., & Ray, R. (2021, April 1). Perspective | Evanston’s grants to black homeowners aren’t enough. but they are reparations. The Washington Post. Retrieved April 11, 2022, from
Treisman, R. (2021, March 23). In likely first, Chicago suburb of Evanston approves reparations for black residents. NPR. Retrieved April 11, 2022, from

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