The sum of $149,250.50 is what someone has calculated forty acres and a mule would be worth today. In the years after the Civil War, the ‘forty acres’ legislation was enacted as a way to give former slaves a new start as free citizens.
But President Andrew Johnson reversed the provision. African-Americans never got land, mule or an apology for slavery. For years, black nationalists were the only ones who talked about reparations, but now, the idea is being discussed in many quarters, from the NAACP to Harvard Law School.
No one expects, in fact few are demanding, a check in the mail.
Tara Mack, freelance journalist;
Clarence Page, syndicated columnist;
John H. Bracey, professor, W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Clarence Walker, history professor, University of California, Davis, author, “We Can’t Go Home Again: An Argument about Afrocentrism.”