The Reparations Task Force in California has estimated that its Black residents may be owed over $200,000 each for enduring the lasting impacts of racism and slavery.
According to Newsweek, the nine-member task force, formed in 2020 through legislation signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, is seeking to compensate descendants of enslaved African Americans or of a "free Black person living in the United States prior to the end of the 19th century," which is estimated to account for 2 million Black Californians.
The Reparations task force has identified five areas — housing discrimination, mass incarceration, unjust property seizures, devaluation of Black businesses, and health care — that will be taken into account when determining the amount of reparations eligible recipients will be awarded.
When only accounting for housing discrimination from 1933 to 1977, the task force has estimated that over $569 billion in reparations are owed to African Americans in California, which amounts to $223,000 per person, the New York Times reported on Thursday (December 1). The total amount of reparations suggested, set to be released in 2023, will likely be much higher.
Once the task force completes its recommendation, it will be up to legislators to approve the reparations and determine how they will be funded.
"We are looking at reparations on a scale that is the largest since Reconstruction," task force member Jovan Scott Lewis told The Times. "That is why we must put forward a robust plan, with plenty of options."