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Dr. Shirley Weber To Participate In Reparations Teach-In For African Americans

Dr. Shirley Weber To Participate In Reparations Teach-In For African Americans

Reparations

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber speaks in Sacramento, Calif., June 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber will be a featured speaker at a “Teach-In on Reparations” in San Francisco on Sunday, Sept. 18, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Hosted by the San Francisco Black & Jewish Unity Coalition, in-person and virtual options will be available to attend. The in-person event will be held at Congregation Sherith Israel, located at 2266 California Street in San Francisco.

In addition to being the author of California’s historic AB 3121, which established the state’s first-in-the-nation Task Force to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African Americans, Weber has been reparations advocate for over half a century.

The first Black person to serve as California’s Secretary of State, Weber was born in Arkansas during the Jim Crow era to parents who were sharecroppers.

Though her family moved to California when she was a toddler, the racism and discrimination her family experienced in the south sparked a passion for racial justice activism in Weber, according to her state bio.

Her background as an Africana Studies scholar who served for 40 years as a professor and had several turns as department lead at San Diego State University (SDSU) has also informed Weber’s advocacy.


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“I never aspired to be a politician. My first foray into politics was fighting to create the Department of Africana Studies at SDSU and it inspired me to continue,” Weber tweeted on Aug. 9. “It is often the small fights where you can make the biggest difference.”

Weber is a proponent of lineage-based reparations. “It’s an issue not about being Black. It’s an issue of descendants and lineage,” Weber said. “There will be many Black people who do not deserve reparations, but there will be many whose lineage clearly says very strongly that they deserve to have reparations.”

She also said while she believes reparations should also happen at the federal level, she wasn’t going to wait for it to happen if she could advance the cause at the state level.

“I think it should start at the federal level, but will it?” Weber told The Los Angeles Times. “The fact that it didn’t doesn’t mean I need to stand here crying for the next 40, 50 years until it starts at the federal level.”

“California has come to terms with many of its issues, but it has yet to come to terms with its role in slavery,” Weber added. “We’re talking about really addressing the issues of justice and fairness in this country that we have to address.”

PHOTO: Assemblywoman Shirley Weber speaks in Sacramento, Calif., June 10, 2020. Weber is the daughter of sharecroppers and she authored legislation creating a first-in-the-nation task force in California to study and recommend reparations. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)