As House Takes Up Reparations Bill, How Should the U.S. Pay Its Debts to the Enslaved?

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Episcopal Bishop of Maryland Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton testifies during a hearing on slavery reparations held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on June 19, 2019 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by: Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

A House panel heard testimony Wednesday on legislation to study proposals for reparations for descendants of enslaved Americans. Supporters of H.R. 40, which was first introduced more than 30 years ago by former Congressman John Conyers, called reparations a moral and economic imperative. The hearing came one day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he opposed restitution for slavery, arguing that no one currently living was responsible for it. We'll discuss the history and future of the reparations movement.


William Darity, public policy professor, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity director, Duke University; co-author, "From Here to Equality" (2020)

Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers, history associate professor, UC Berkeley; author, "They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South"