Institute President and CEO Ryan Haygood writes for NJ.com:
Four hundred years ago this month, Black people arrived in Jamestown, brought to America as captives.
The issue of America’s original sin and its lasting stain have led to a national conversation about reparations this anniversary year, with people asking who is responsible, for how long, and what to do about it.
But the reparations conversation must occur at the state level, too, with each state confronting its historical role in American slavery, as well as the modern day vestiges that continue to harm descendants of enslaved Black people, while simultaneously conferring advantages to the descendants of that system’s beneficiaries.
In doing so, we must acknowledge the direct line from American slavery to today’s system of voter suppression, racial wealth disparities, mass incarceration, and racial segregation.