Crowdfunding Campaigns Accept ‘Reparations’ on Local Level to Benefit Black People 

By: ShaCamree Gowdy 

The demand for “40 acres and a mule,” or reparations from the federal government for slavery, came about after the Civil War ended in 1865, per NBC News’ Michela Moscufo. 

While 11 cities have given written promise to develop local reparations initiatives, including Austin, Texas; Los Angeles, California; Denver, Colorado; and St. Louis, Missouri, no efforts to pay for slavery’s acceptance has ever ended in a payout. 

RELATED: Jamaica Wants $10.6 Billion in Reparations From Britain for Atlantic Slave Trade 

Organizations like the Reparations Roundtable, Deepwaters.pool, Reparations Now, Reparations: Requests and Offerings, which has been around since 2015, and Coalition for Black Trans Economic Liberation are here to help, working hard to ensure individuals going through a financial crisis don’t go without essential resources simply because they can’t afford them. 

The Louisville-based Reparations Roundtable is just one organization that uses social media to crowdsource funds for Black people and calls it reparations. Initially a rather small effort, the group has grown in size as a result of the pandemic and the racial justice movement, now handling thousands of dollars every month.

“One of the real, tangible things that white people do to actually leverage their privilege is to leverage their resources, so their money and their land,” said the group’s cofounder Rosey Green, as reported by Leo Weekly’s Danielle Grady. 

The primary source of crowdsourcing for Reparations Roundtable is a Facebook group with 170 members from across the country. Donors agree to pay $25 per month and adhere to community guidelines, or they can donate money through various events announced on the group’s Facebook page.

Some experts believe focusing on individual reparations will divert attention away from efforts to secure funding on a federal level, saying the most important thing for organizers and individuals to do is “lobby and petition Congress for a national reparations program for Black American descendants of slavery,” per Moscufo.

Following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, a number of white people began sending money to their Black friends via Venmo out of the blue, some with the subject line “reparations,” per USA TODAY’s Dalvin Brown.

RELATED: California Governor Signs Historic Reparations Bill into Law

This also benefited the Facebook groups, with Reparations: Requests and Offerings skyrocketing from 15,000 to 21,000 members in just a few weeks and Deepwaters.pool raising over $2,000 in donations just on its first day in June.

Over $40,000 in cash and another $40,000 in donated products and services were also shared by organizers in Cleveland, with one group getting so many donations it had to freeze its own accounts months later to make sure funds were received properly. 

 

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