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During all of the recent Black Lives Matter discussions, passing laws about Amy to stop Karen, people figuring out new ways to make pancakes and rice, reading about White Fragility became popular again, Defunding The Police is now a thing, we are taking down statues and posting up black squares, and people are protesting in the streets (like every single day still protesting in these streets)...


I promise, I’m getting to the questions. I’m with all the above, but why does it feel (maybe, it is just me) like Reparations have only been a whisper during this time of reopened conversations about racism in America?

And I’m not talking about some quick cash payments, that show up in the mail this month like those pandemic stimulus checks, type of Reparations. That’s not enough to close the health and wealth gap. You know, that health and wealth gap, cumulative effect, that has been in place from slavery to segregation to the continued culture of slavery in America today. Nope, a cash payment ain’t it.

Related note, the originally promised 40 acres and a mule in 1865 wasn’t giving us cash either. That would have been land and assets. Things that would create wealth and ongoing income. Nope, a cash payment ain’t it.


Where is the call-and-response or the offer-and-consideration, for free land (America has given out plenty of free stolen land before), grants to personally invest in businesses and investment properties in our neighborhoods, education funds, permanently funded HBCUs?

What about zero-interest mortgages, no income taxes, gentrification profit-sharing programs (I’m not sure what that looks like, but sounds like something to figure out), no capital gains taxes, government covering the health benefits of employees of black-owned businesses, and this list could go on.

I know payback capitalism won’t save us. I really get that. I just find it ironic that we aren’t talking more about Reparations as an immediate action item during a time of more attention on race and wealth in a country built on race and wealth.


Written by Gregory Nesmith, CPC, ELI-MP, Founder of UNderdogstuff, Philly native, Community Relations Director & Entrepreneurship Mentor at Bridges To Wealth, and recent Wharton School alum.

UNderdogstuff is a social impact and Philly urban tech venture exploring how Savers become first-time Investors and Entrepreneurs in our communities. Additionally, UNderdogstuff was recently accepted into the Penn Venture Lab VIP-C Incubator for startups.

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