By Bob Katzen
Rep. Brandy Fluker Oakley (D-Boston) has proposed a late-filed bill that would create a commission to study and develop proposals for lineage-based reparations programs to redress the harm resulting from the institution of slavery in the state, systemic racism against enslaved people and their descendants; and the lasting effects of slavery and institutional and systemic racism in the Bay State.
“Celebrating Juneteenth is not only about joy and fellowship, but also about recognizing the work that needs to be done to make the commonwealth a more just place for all,” said Fluker Oakley. “This bill is an actionable step toward making reparations for Black Americans a reality not only in our state, but also to inspire our nation to do the same. It is not enough for us to just speak on these issues and acknowledge them, but we must also put these values into practice and support legislation that will make a real change.”
“With the median net worth of $8 for blacks and $247,500 for whites in the capital city of the commonwealth, the time is now to move towards reckoning with the systems that have continued to contribute to causing this divide,” said Repair America Collective spokesperson, Aziza Robinson-Goodnight. “We’d like to emphasize this is just the beginning, repair for Black Americans is long overdue. Since the arrival of the Pilgrims in 1620, Massachusetts has claimed to be the enlightened moral center of the New World and forming a commission to study and develop proposals for lineage-based reparations programs is significant for Massachusetts. This is an historic step for us all and brings us closer towards holistic repair for racialized harm.”