Top Reparations Scholars Darity and Mullen Win Another Prestigious Award: ASA Outstanding Book

Top Reparations Scholars Darity and Mullen Win Another Prestigious Award: ASA Outstanding Book


A. Kirsten Mullen and Dr. William Darity, “Matter of Face,” Aug. 20, 2023

Dr. William Sandy Darity recently announced via Twitter that his book, “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century,” authored with A. Kirsten Mullen, had taken home another award. This award is the Inequality, Poverty and Mobility’s 2023 Outstanding Book Award from the American Sociological Association (ASA).

Last year ,the distinction went to Matthew Clair, Stanford University, “Being a Disadvantaged Criminal Defendant: Mistrust and Resistance in Attorney-Client Interactions.” 

ASA is a non-profit organization founded in December 1905 at Johns Hopkins University and is dedicated to advancing the discipline and profession of sociology. It was started by a group of 50 people. Today, most of its members work in academia, while around 20 percent of them work in government, business, or non-profit organizations. The organization publishes 10 academic journals and magazines, along with four section journals, including the American Sociological Review and Contexts.

The ASA is considered the largest professional association of sociologists in the world, according to its website. It consists of over 13,000 members—composed of researchers, students, college/university faculty, high school faculty, and various practitioners—while its 52 special-interest sections contain more than 21,000 members.

Darity’s “From Here to Equality” has won a number of awards and is considered a main authority on reparations for Black Americans.

Among the honors it has received are: the 2021 Lillian Smith Book Award, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History Book Prize in 2021, 2021’s Best Book Awards in Social Change Category, and the Ragan Old North State Award for Nonfiction, North Carolina Literary and Historical Association in 2020.

The book presents the argument for reparations to repair this country’s economic injustices for U.S. descendants of slavery. Darity and Mullen also break down the costs for cash reparations, and pointing to the history of slavery, they explain the reasons cash reparations would be the only solution to the racial wealth gap.

The pair recently appeared on a TV special focused on the concept of “40 Acres and a Mule,” exploring the need for reparations. The Aug. 20 episode was part of journalist Soledad O’Brien’s “Matter of Fact” TV series. On the show, they also emphasized cash repartitions.

“One of the key goals of a true reparation project would be the elimination of the racial wealth gap, and that figure at the moment, on the low end, is $14 trillion dollars,” said Mullen. This would come to $850,000 per eligible Black family.

When asked what America as a society owes to Black Americans, both readily answered “restitution,” with Darity, a Duke University economist, adding, “and the capacity to be able to participate on an equal basis in this society.”

A. Kirsten Mullen and Dr. William Darity, “Matter of Face,” Aug. 20, 2023, https://www.matteroffact.tv/the-story-behind-40-acres-and-a-mule/