Nikole Hannah-Jones makes a straight forward and compelling case for revisiting the idea of reparations. This is an important must read. But, I wanted to take the time to focus on this.
The way we are taught this in school, Lincoln “freed the slaves,” and then the nearly four million people who the day before had been treated as property suddenly enjoyed the privileges of being Americans like everyone else. We are not prodded to contemplate what it means to achieve freedom without a home to live in, without food to eat, a bed to sleep on, clothes for your children or money to buy any of it.
As I’ve said many times before. History is not binary, it is nuanced. And, those that have followed for even the past few days know, my family is full of exceptions…
You see, my Great-Great-Great Grandfather on my Grandmothers paternal side (I.e. not the Blacksmith in Kentucky) was able to purchase 40 acres of land immediately following emancipation with the help of his wife’s former owner (I’ll spare you the long story of the whys and how’s of that).
With the production of that land, he was able to put all nine of his children through college. This set forth a legacy of college education for every single one of his descendants. Every single one.
That land is now 140 acres and is still in the family.
So, I have direct knowledge of the difference such reparations would have made. I’m a living example of it.