Why Reparations? To Understand the Present We Must Clearly See the Past

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Some believe that African Americans gained their freedom in 1865. They have little to no understanding of the horrendous history visited upon Africans from the time they were kidnapped, brought to this country, enslaved, and oppressed for 405 years into the present day. There is also little understanding of the “post traumatic slave syndrome” that continues to enslave us all. We cannot move towards true equity and justice without understanding and reckoning with history and repairing the harm done to Black people. As the “1619 Project” reminds us, “To understand the present, we must clearly see the past.”

Dr. Green is the Executive Director of the Center for Law and Justice, a civil rights organization she founded in 1985. She has a doctorate in criminal justice and 3 master’s degrees – education, social work, and criminology. The Center provides community education on civil and criminal justice, legal guidance and advocacy, crisis intervention, and community planning and organizing around criminal justice, civil rights and civil liberties issues of particular concern to poor communities and those of color.

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