In March 2021, a town outside of Chicago enacted into law an unprecedented piece of legislation that would began to raise more questions about race relations and the government’s ability to tighten the wealth gap between America’s Black and White populations.
Evanston, Illinois city leadership decided that it was time to correct the tragedies committed against Black people as a result of the American Slave Trade. Evanston opted to compensate its Black citizens and descendants of past Black citizens (between the early 1900’s until the early 1970’s) with equitable stakes in their city. They set aside $400,000 in funds that eligible citizens can access to secure Evanston properties. It is projected that the city will allocate around 10 million dollars to reparations over a span of 10 years.
In 1865, former slaves in America were all promised 40 acres and mule when they were first set free. America has failed to live up to that promise. It is not hard to assess that the economical disparagement originating from slavery is one of the primary sources for the conditions facilitating massive Black poverty and the despicable state of inequity in this country. Evanston is the first place in America to attempt a wealth-based form of reparations. Will it be the last?
Prompt for the Incarcerated:
Write an essay (poems and other forms of art are also accepted) on what you think about reparations in America. To help spark thoughts, feel free to use the below:
Describe some of the problems that you think came from Black people being enslaved for centuries and their present lack of wealth.
Do you believe that other places in America will follow Evanston’s example?
What are some of your predictions about reparations?
Why after over hundred of years, do you think places like Evanston are even considering reparations?
* Go in depth with your answers if you can.
*Remember: We are always accepting material, so when you got something you feel and want to say about current events, write em’ down and send em’ in.
Love and peace to the seekers, love and peace to all,
From Brilliance Behind Bars Editor: Stay tuned as we send this prompt around on JPay to regular contributors on our site. Thank you for reading, and please subscribe to our content, and follow us on Twitter.