Culture Wars/Current Controversies

California Reparations Could See Newsom Give Black Americans $223k Each

By Jack Dutton, Newsweek

A nine-member Reparations Task Force has estimated that Black Californians could receive more than $223,000 each in reparations for the enduring economic effects of racism and slavery, more than two years on from the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police.

California has become the first U.S. state to require its agencies to present a separate demographic category for descendants of enslaved people.

Bruce family California
Members of the Bruce family are asked to stand to be recognized during a ceremony on July 20, 2022, to return ownership of Bruce’s Beach to the descendants of a Black family who had the land stripped from them nearly a century ago in Manhattan Beach, California. A taskforce has recommended Californians who are descendants of enslaved people must be paid reparations. David McNew/Getty

The New York Times reported on Thursday that the taskforce, which was formed by a law signed by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom in 2020, has spent months traveling across the West coast state to learn about the effects of these policies.

Those eligible for the reparations, the taskforce said in a March 2022 report, would be descendants of enslaved African Americans or of a “free Black person living in the United States prior to the end of the 19th century.”

Only people who can prove that they fit under these categories will be eligible for the reparations. California has an estimated 2.6 million Black residents, around 2 million of whom are descendants of slaves.


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