Reparations March Announced For Jan. 20-21 In The Belly Of The Beast, Washington, D.C.

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Written by Ann Brown
FILE – In this Monday, Oct. 16, 1995 file photo, participants in the Million Man March raise their fists on the Mall in Washington. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

The fight for reparations is moving to the streets with the March for Reparations scheduled for Jan. 20 and Jan 21, coinciding with Joe Biden’s inauguration day.

Thousands are expected to attend the march as Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the U.S.

The march is being held to ensure that Biden “has our back” in his first 100 days, according to organizers who include the Reparations Collective — Black Pact, BLM Minnesota, Concerned Black American Citizens, Equity Advocates PAC, ADOS DMV and Be The Power Podcast

At the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Black Americans owned 1 percent of the country’s wealth despite having invested “more than 100 percent of our fair share of ‘sweat equity’ for over 250 years,” the event website states. “Now, following a multitude of Democratic majorities since and the victory announcement of Joe Biden on Nov. 7, that number remains unchanged.”

Biden won the White House with the help of Black voters. Reparations activists are looking for his administration to address the issue of reparations. 

“Black voters turned out at a rate of 90 percent for the Democrats and are rightly credited with handing the election to Biden on his third attempt to secure the Presidency,” the Reparationist Collective said. “During his Nov. 7 victory speech, Joe Biden looked into the eyes of Black Americans and made this specific promise: African Americans have always had my back and I’ll have yours.’”

​The Reparationist Collective wants reparations for the “descendants of American Chattel Slavery in the form of multi-generational direct cash payments, including but not limited to tax exempt status, the elimination of the Black-White wealth gap and the elimination of healthcare, education, employment, business and homeownership disparities.”

​The group also demands an economic empowerment executive order within Biden’s first 100 days to eliminate the racial wealth gap. 

Biden has yet to come out in support of a reparations plan. His plan for Black America, “Lift Every Voice: The Biden Plan For Black America,” was centered on addressing systemic inequality and injustice.

Black community activists are demanding more. “For decades, Black people have shown up time and time again for a country that consistently tells us that our lives don’t matter,” said Mary Hooks, a founding member of Black Lives Matter Atlanta, in a USA Today interview. “Beyond a cheap thank you, we need this administration to be bold and unapologetic about paying that debt through enacting policy changes.

“We need reparations for the descendants of Africans both here and abroad, period,” Hooks said.

The call for reparations has increased in recent years, outside and inside the government. Congress held hearings on H.R. 40 in 2019, a bill to study reparations and the economic impact of slavery first introduced by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., in 1989 and reintroduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee in 2019.  During the 2020 presidential campaign, reparations was on the table for discussion by many Democratic candidates.

“Yet, since then, the issue of reparations, let alone H.R. 40’s humble call to study the issue, has all but disappeared from the lips of politicians, including Biden’s,” journalist Trymaine Lee wrote in an article for MSNBC. “And while Biden thanked Black folks for having his back during his victory speech and promised to have theirs in return, the best way to do it is to push for the passage of H.R. 40 and begin the process of trying to repair America’s deepest and most lasting injury.”

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.

Trymaine added, “Biden is in position to undo what he himself referred to as the ‘mistakes’ of his and America’s past, for his legacy and our nation’s. It’s time for America to go beyond recognizing the knife that’s in the back of Black America, to remove it and begin the long process of salving our wounds.”

The upcoming Reparations march isn’t the first demonstration for reparations. There have been many. The Uhuru Solidarity Movement held marches in various cities on Oct. 17.  Its National March for Reparations to African People was formed by and works under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party and organized by the Uhuru Solidarity Movement.