There is a pervasive wealth gap between Black and white Americans, the result of centuries of systemic violence and racism. Today, Black families have just 10% of the wealth white families have accumulated. New York Times staff writer Nikole Hannah-Jones says this racial wealth gap isn’t an accident. It’s the product of over 400 years of slavery, racial segregation, and discrimination. In her cover story, “What is Owed,” for the New York Times Magazine, Hannah-Jones explains how the US government has been complicit in preventing Black people from accumulating wealth.
And she argues that the only solution is reparations, restitution paid by the U.S. government to the descendants of enslaved people.
In this episode of Into America, host Trymaine Lee sits down with Hannah-Jones to talk about her seminal piece and why this may be the moment when the idea of reparations just might become a reality. She explains what reparations might look like and why they are more urgent than ever.
Find the transcript here.