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Evanston, Illinois to Begin Distribution of Up to $25K in Reparations to Black Residents

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Evanston is the first city in the United States to establish reparations and the official bill is due for a vote on March 8th.

What We Know:

  • Reparations were first introduced as a promise in early 1865. The goal was to redistribute land in the southeast U.S to formerly enslaved people, but Andrew Johnson later overturned the policy in the same year. Black Americans have had to endure policies designed to keep generational wealth-building out of their reach in the decades following. Evanston is committed to pay up to $10 million over the next decade and current eligible residents will receive up to $25k for housing.
  • Black people who live in the city through redlining and their descendants are eligible for the payment. Redlining was backed by the government and essentially allowed mortgage lenders to reject loans from creditworthy borrowers strictly based on their race and where they live. 5th Ward Alderman, Robin Rue Simmons is one of many activists in Evanston inspired on closing the racial wealth gap.

“The only legislative response for us to reconcile the damages in the Black community is reparations,” stated Simmons.

  • Simmons and local historian, Dino Robinson, were involved in a project that documented discrimination and racism in Evanston dating back to the 1800s. The report was 70+ pages and provided by the Shorefront Legacy Center, which Robinson is a founder of. Shorefront Legacy Center is an archive dedicated solely to chronicling and celebrating local Black history in Evanston.
  • Evanston city council approved a measure in 2019 to direct the first $10 million in tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales to a reparations fund. The goal was to eliminate the wage gap by encouraging minority business startups and assisting longtime residents. Actor Danny Glover has also been involved in the fight for reparations in Evanston as well. Glover spoke to crowds on the subject at a town hall event saying, “It’s the beginning of a process. This is the most intense conversation, I believe, that we’re going to have in the 21st century, right here.”

President Biden and the White House have plans to “act now” on reparations policies so it doesn’t appear that Evanston will be the only city pushing legislation.

The post Evanston, Illinois to Begin Distribution of Up to $25K in Reparations to Black Residents appeared first on Black News Alerts.

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