Join the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and LaVonna B. Lewis, Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for a conversation with William Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen, authors of the award-winning book, From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century.
Today’s black-white wealth gap originated with the unfulfilled promise of 40 acres in 1865. The payment of this debt in the 21st century is feasible—and at least 156 years overdue. In their book, William Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen advance a general definition of reparations as a program of acknowledgment, redress, and closure. Acknowledgment constitutes the culpable party’s admission of responsibility for the atrocity; admission should include recognition of the damages inflicted upon the enslaved and their descendants and the advantages gained by the culpable party. Redress constitutes the acts of restitution; the steps taken to “heal the wound.” In this context, it means erasure of the black-white wealth gap. Closure constitutes an agreement by both the victims and the perpetrators that the account is settled.
From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century is the recipient of the inaugural 2021 Book Prize from the Association of African American Life and History and the 2020 Ragan Old North State Award for Non-fiction from the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.