The Rise of the Reparations Movement - Paper Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1105 Words
Date:  2022-07-18


America has gone through a mixed and terrible past. It had once decided to own populaces, who were once free, own their belongings and dispossess them of their freedoms and make them their slaves. The slaves were mistreated, tortured, given poor housing facilities, mistreated sexually and taken through all sorts of harassments. The African slaves worked for the Americans without any payment or a promise for a better future. After years of torture and mistreat, the United State has attempted to correct their mistakes through reparations. The aspects have continuously failed to adequately compensate and redress the social and individual injustices caused to the African Americans. The pain and harm caused by slavery continue to be experienced, and the reparations movements have continuously addressed the things that need to be compensated and the changes that should be carried out.

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Reasons for the Rise of Reparations Movement

African Americans went through many cruel injustices that led to the rise of reparation movements. Firstly, slavery was being conducted as a business where slaves were traded like goods. Americans used to import slaves from Africa and sell them to fellow Americans. They could buy them and take them as slaves to work in their agricultural land. Others used the women as house helps without any payments while others were even used as sex slaves. It ought to be noted that the aspect was disrespectful and inhumane. The founders of the movements felt that trading in slavery needed to be compensated.

The African Americans worked without any payments. The individuals who owned slaves benefited so much from the work that the African Americans performed. In many cases, slaves worked on big plantations. These plantations earned a lot of money, but the slaves that worked there were never given even a dime for their work. The issue has in recent years been viewed as an inhuman act. Therefore, the aspect of compensation has been considered as a fair approach.

Germany is one of the countries that compensated for their survivors. Those compensated are the ones that were involved in the death camps. The survivors of the Holocaust were also compensated. Together with the private corporations, they have paid over 65.2 billion dollars. Steps of compensation are what the government of the US needed to do. German paid reparations to countries like Israel, (Biondi, M. 2007). Therefore, this is one of the reasons why the United States should compensate the African American slaves.

Racial justice is another reason that led to the formation of reparation movements. There has been the rise of African American conviction. The movements want full compensation for all those that were enslaved. Without addressing these, then it is viewed that racial justice is impossible as it has remained.

Similarly, many African Americans have been denied the rights to vote. The act denied the blacks any say in deciding what was good for them. The African Americans have always been repressed politically. For example, the civil rights movement never addressed the story of the lost lives, personhood, forced labor, and the unpaid wages during the slavery. Therefore, there was a need for reparation movements to address all these untold practices.

Why Reparations Should Be Made to the Descendants of the Slaves?

The slaves left many descendants in America. They are in the nation due to the aspect of the slave trade. The trade brought a lot of pain and destruction to the society of Africa. Their ways of life were significantly affected. It is only fair if compensation is carried out to the descendants for the pain and work that their fathers underwent. It may not be possible to compensate all the pain that the slaves went through, but at least they can be pleased if some payment or reward is initiated. For example, the government of the US made a national apology and compensation to the Japanese Americans that were mistreated and taken to the relocation camp war. Each survivor was given $20,000 as compensation.

How Compensation Was to Be Made?

Many corporations gained wealth through the work done by slaves. The work done by the slaves greatly determined the laying of the American corporate wealth. California passed in a law that required all the insurance establishments undertaking business there to report the all the information regarding slaveholder policies. In August 2002, the council of Chicago also passed a regulation calling for all business enterprises in the metropolitan to reveal any profit that they may have made and is related to slavery,

Many businesses made a lot of benefit from slavery. Investigations are to be done to ensure that all the profit made from slavery is disclosed. The railway giants CSX are some of the significant beneficiaries of slavery. Theodore Kornweibel has so far identified 36 lines of railway that were constructed by the slaves (Biondi, M. 2007). All enterprises that had any involvement with slavery are to expose all the profit they made so that there can be fair reparation. This process is challenging, but it is necessary to ensure that those enslaved can feel valued.

Thompson v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. recently agreed to compensate all the African Americans who received low premiums than they deserved because they were black. The descendants of the deceased were also to be compensated. Committees are to be made to carry out investigations and ensure that there is fair reparation. The reparation movements have always given the African Americans that were mistreated some hope of compensation.

The Point of Compensation Resonates With Me

Looking at all the growth that the slaves brought to America, it is very fair that they are compensated. Reparation movements were led by some of the greatest advocates of fairness and justice when it came to treatment of the African Americans. All they wanted is that the slaves or their descendants be compensated. According to me, nobody should work for free. Nobody should be sexually harassed. New rules should be implemented to ensure that nobody is racially discriminated.


In conclusion, the rise of the reparation movement was one of the primary tools that America needed. It ensures that there is justice for the slaves. The points that I have analyzed about the reason for the rise of reparation movements are, but a few. There was genocide, sexual slavery, colonization, the slave trade and many other forms of injustice. Nobody should go through what the slaves went through at any cost.


Biondi, M. (2007). The Rise of the Reparations Movement. In M. T. Martin, & M. Yaquinto (Eds.), Redress for Historical Injustices in the United States: On Reparations for Slavery, Jim Crow and Their Legacies Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

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