The Past and Future of Reparations | National Humanities Center

Humanities in Class: Webinar Series

The Past and Future of Reparations

Reparations; Slavery; American Civil Rights Movement; African American History

Lawrie Balfour (Professor of Politics, University of Virginia)

April 30, 2020

Does the recent call for reparations by several Democratic presidential candidates signal a new openness to an old idea? Although demands for reparations for slavery, Jim Crow, and their legacies have been dismissed as costly, divisive, and unfair, African American activists and intellectuals from the 19th century to the 21st have often expressed their political aspirations in the language of repair. This webinar will consider the history of reparations as an idea and a social movement. Focusing on visions of reparations put forward by Martin Luther King, Jr., the Movement for Black Lives, and others, we will explore the promise and limitations of reparations as a response to racial oppression and a step toward democratic reconstruction.


Political Science / History / Reparations / Slavery / American Civil Rights Movement / African American History /