Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Black America

Reparations

An article in the Mail & Guardian has triggered some thoughts about reparations.

Thousands of Jews are seeking reparations from the German government not because they are holocaust survivors, but because their parents were.

–“The lawsuit was seen as the first ever filed by representatives of the so-called “second generation” or those descended from the survivors of the World War II slayings of six million Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe. Mazor said his group, representing some of the 400 000 Israelis born to survivors, wants Germany to fund twice weekly therapy sessions for three years for up to 20 000 people he says need counselling because of their parents’ war-time trauma.” “Mazor said that thousands of Israelis born to Holocaust survivors ‘suffer from fears and anxieties because they experience what their parents went through as though it is happening to them’.”

One could make the argument that the legacy of American slavery, the brutality, the trauma, the tragedy, has been passed down from generation to generation causing, in part, psychological damage to African-American people.

It’s almost taboo to bring up a discussion about African-Americans receiving reparations for slavery. It’s been too long. The damage could never be quantified. I believe reparations will never be given to the American descendants of West African slaves. Despite efforts by some states, we will also never receive a sincere apology from our government or the other governments who contributed to slavery. I just can’t help but feeling uneasy about the way in which reparations are dolled out to some, while others languish in the economic margins, suffering from injustices that are deeply rooted in a system of servitude that was abolished nearly 150 years ago.

I’ve never been on to believe that a big, fat check would solve all of the problems in the African-American community, but imagine how free therapy could help heal deep-rooted psychological wounds? Therapy to help quell the fears and anxieties passed down to us because of the experiences of slavery and Jim Crow our ancestors…our parents were forced to endure.

5 Comments

  1. Joan Kelly

    Millions of people have been robbed of what should have been theirs to inherit, as descendants of slaves who by rights should have been entitlted to a financial stake in the money they helped white people make. Why do African Americans not deserve ANY of what was stolen from them? It’s absurd that the idea of reparations to descendants of slaves is taboo, and I’m glad you brought it up.

  2. Thanks Joan.

  3. Herbert

    Truth itself is as old as the hills -in the words of Mahatma Ghandi.
    The issue of reparation to Africans both at home and diaspora is long overdue.The problem is our inablity to forge a common front.The fate of the Africans and the Jews are inseparable in the anals of human history.
    History is awash with the inhuman treatment meted out for these two races,Yet mankind seems to consciously ignore and by large extend deny the injustice done to the Africans.
    Methinks these development is deeprooted in neo-colonialism which is still roaring its ugly head in the continent.The first step in this direction is for African governments to rid itself of corruption,military rule,sit-tightism.But in its stead uphold democracy and the rule of law.
    The creation of the state of Isreal,and her stable and prosperous government played a vital role in the its ability to advance the issue of reparation.The issue of reparation to Jewish people was and is still being championed in unism by Jews at home and abroad,with the help of a stable and prosperous Jewish state.
    Africans,and by this I mean, black people everywhere should know and ought to know at this point in history, that the battle cannot be won abroad.
    Every Jew contributes one way or the other towards the betterment of the state of Isreal.Because,this is their only homeland.It should be the common goal of black people across the globe no matter which hemisphere we found ourselves to contribute to the welfare of the African continent.
    It would involve a generational change to achieve these goals.It would require making sure our children are well and rightly informed about their past and present.It would involve providing them with good education and moral discipline.It would involve making efforts to keep ourselves active and availalbe in public domain where such issues are discussed.
    Retreat and surrender is not an option.
    Silence in such issue is unjustified and foolhardy.
    Africa is the only homeland for black people everywhere.
    This is very simple to understand.
    No man is born poor,criminal and the rest.It is a creation of societies.
    Hence,Africans in diaspora are secluded from the scheme of things and as a result lose their self-worth.These loss of human dignity leads to alchohol and drug abuse,early pregnancy and the host of others.
    But,shall we allow ourselves to play the second fiddle perpetually? God forbid. Let us pause and ponder.
    The bottom line is that the future of black people everywhere lies in Africa.
    Because when Africa arises from her slumber,then and only then shall/would black people everywhere shine like a million stars.
    We are born to shine and shine we will.

    Aluta continua.

  4. Herbert

    TO MY REVERED SISTER SOKARI.

    I found some errors in my first post on this issue,hence the second.

    Sorry 4 the troubles.

    Keep fit.

    Herbert

  5. Brother Hubert:
    Man, you hit the nail on the head but, until we as African Americans pull our heads out of the mud, we will not be taken seriously. We should do all that we can to assist our brothers and sisters in Africa. We should stop looking to other Americans to pull us out of poverty, economic apartheid, educational apartheid, and the lack of human development.
    As I sit here watching the Democratic debate on Youtube, the question was asked what should be done about the situation in Darfur? The answer was that we should not send troops into The Sudan but, continue the campaign in Iraq and not withdraw the troops there in an effort which in most Americans opinions, is a lost campaign.
    Now, Black lives in Darfur, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Rwanda are not as precious as Black life in Iraq because of the ignorance of our citizens in this country, the importance of Black life in our entire Diaspora isn’t important to this government and this is why the U.S. have not apologize for slavery and never will until we start a mass movement to leave America and return back to Africa in mass.