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100 Facts On Reparations For Native Black Americans

100 Facts On Reparations For Native Black Americans


68. Reparations and religion

In May 1969, civil rights activist James Forman used the pulpit at New York’s Riverside Church to demand $500 million in reparations from white churches and synagogues for the mistreatment of African Americans.

Forman’s Black Manifesto sought $500 million (later increased to $3 billion) for programs designed to ensure Black self-determination. It never attracted support from the broader U.S. religious community.

“I saw them withering and unable to step forward and say ‘Let’s be the church,’” said Rev. Gayraud Wilmore, a Black Presbyterian leader in New York City in 1969, now 98. “I saw no bold action taken on our side to go along with the bold action Forman was taking.”

Now, finally, religious leaders are addressing the issue of reparations.


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