By Jacquelyne Germain, CNN
Evanston, Illinois (CNN)Louis Weathers had a stable job and was married when he decided to buy a home in the Chicago suburb of Evanston in 1959 -- but high interest rates and White real estate agents who seemed adamant about keeping him and other Black residents out of certain neighborhoods nearly discouraged him.
More than six decades later, the 87-year-old received a payout to make up for the discriminatory housing practices that he and other Black residents experienced between 1919 and 1969.
After three years in the making, Evanston gave Weathers and 15 other Black residents $25,000 each in May to put toward a down payment on a home, mortgages or home repairs.
Like Weathers, generations of Black Americans have faced disparities in housing, transportation, business and other areas. And as descendants of enslaved people many say they have not been compensated for their labor and the lingering effects of systemic racism.
The California Reparations Task Force released a preliminary report outlining the effects of slavery and discriminatory policies that have impacted generations of African American Californians.
Kamilah Moore is the chair of the task force and she joined host Lisa McRee on LA Times Today with more on her work.
Many Californians might not understand the state's relationship with the slave trade. Moore explained how California was complicit in it.
"We invited people to provide expert testimony on California's role in perpetuating the institution of slavery in this country and in the state," she said. "We learned that, for instance, there were over 1,500 enslaved Black people in the state of California by 1852. Many of them were brought with their enslavers from the South to mine for gold and to enact other forced labor in the state. We also learned that California also enacted a Fugitive Slave...
Callie House walked out of the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City on August 1, 1918, and headed back to her five children and job as a “washerwoman” in Tennessee.
Her crime – mail fraud.
The federal government claimed that the organization she’d helped lead since 1894 – the National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty, and Pension Association – was essentially a fraudulent scam.
Formerly enslaved herself, House had been successful in rallying hundreds of thousands of people nationwide to call for federal pensions for formerly enslaved people as compensation and reparation for their unpaid labor and suffering. They were also asking the federal government to provide food and medical expenses.
After an attempt to sue the federal government in 1915, House and her colleagues were indicted because the feds claimed they were using their mailers to obtain money...
Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television, told CNBC on Monday the U.S. government should provide $14 trillion of reparations for slavery to help reduce racial inequality.
“Now is the time to go big” to keep America from dividing into two separate and unequal societies, Johnson said on “Squawk Box.”
“Wealth transfer is what’s needed,” he argued. “Think about this. Since 200-plus-years or so of slavery, labor taken with no compensation, is a wealth transfer. Denial of access to education, which is a primary driver of accumulation of income and wealth, is a wealth transfer.”
Johnson, 74 made history as America’s first black billionaire when he sold BET to Viacom in 2001....