From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century

Univ. of North Carolina. Apr. 2020. 416p. ISBN 9781469654973. $28. SOC SCI
“The Case for Reparations,” an article by Ta-Nehisi Coates that appeared in the Atlantic in 2014, sparked a fresh look at reparations for slavery in the United States. Darity (public policy, Duke Univ.) and writer and folklorist Mullen build on the arguments by Coates by laying out a comprehensive case for reparations in hopes this book will spark further public discussion and congressional action. They compile evidence of the economic disparities wrought by slavery and the continuing effects of Jim Crow on African Americans today. Darity and Mullen consider the possibilities of a nonviolent end to slavery and the alternatives for compensating slaveholders. The last two chapters include responses to common arguments against reparations and a proposal for how reparations would be carried out in practice, including updated monetary estimates from past studies, a congressional investigation, and a National Reparations Bureau.
VERDICT Although this history is well covered in other books, such as Edward E. Baptist’s The Half Has Never Been Told and Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, and the arguments for reparations are not new, this is a worthwhile compendium on an extremely important topic.

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