Today, a special Juneteenth edition of Midday: Live from The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, in downtown Baltimore. Our topic today: Reparations: Can America Atone for the Sin of Slavery?
As this program aired, a House Judiciary subcommittee was holding a hearing about HR 40, a bill that would create "a Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans."
What would reparations look like? With 68% of Americans, including more than a third of African Americans, opposing compensation for descendants of slaves, what is the political viability of reparations legislation like HR40? Can America ever adequately atone for the sin of slavery?
Midday's expert panel today explores the moral, economic and cultural dimensions of reparations.
Dr. Ray Winbush is the director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University. In addition to many articles, he has written has published two books about reparations: Belinda’s Petition: A Concise History of Reparations For The Transatlantic Slave Trade, and Should America Pay?: Slavery and the Raging Debate on Reparations.
E.R. Shipp was the first Black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize (1996) for commentary. She is a founding faculty member of the School of Global Journalism and Communication at Morgan State University, and a columnist with the Baltimore Sun.
Adjoa A. Aiyetoro is a professor emerita at the William H. Bowen School of Law, and a founding member of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA).
Midday host Tom Hall begins the program by inviting Jacqueline Copeland, the executive director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and our host for today's event, to briefly discuss the significance of the Juneteenth observance, and the role of the Lewis Museum in Baltimore's cultural and political landscape.
This program was live-streamed on the WYPR Facebook page; you can watch the video of the event here.