California could owe slave descendants up to $569 billion total in reparations, experts say

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (TND) — A five-member expert consulting team for California's Reparations Task Force indicated the state's payouts could total as much as $569 billion.

A five-member expert consulting team for California's Reparations Task Force indicated the state's payouts could total as much as $569 billion.

The consulting group came to this conclusion after it multiplied "the average-per capita housing wealth gap" with the number of Black residents living in California in 1980.

It is likely that not all Blacks who lived in California in 2021 also resided in the state between 1933 and 1977 or are legal heirs of eligible recipients who did," a "Scope of Work" report to the task force indicated.

To estimate the state's maximum liability from racist redlining practices, the average per-capita housing wealth gap is multiplied with the number of Black California residents in 1980," the report also pointed out.

Earlier this year, the task force voted in favor of using lineage instead of race to determine eligibility for reparations in the state, according to California Black Media (CBM).

[T]he community eligibility will be based on lineage determined by an individual being African American, the descendant of a (person enslaved as chattel) or descendant of a free-Black person living in the United States prior to the end of the 19th century," task force chairperson Kamilah Moore reportedly said following the vote.

A spokesperson for the state of California's Reparations Task Force, which was created in 2020 following the passage of Assembly Bill 3121, told The National Desk (TND) it is still exploring options for reparation recommendations.

The spokesperson also indicated that while preliminary recommendations can be found in an interim report released earlier this year by the task force, "no financial figures" are outlined in the report, and "no final recommendations or financial reparations have been finalized or presented yet to the California Legislature."

But, sometime next year, following public hearings and extensive research, the task force told TND it will issue a new report that will "explore options for reparations."

Jovan Scott Lewis, a University of California - Berkley professor and a member of the task force, indicated to The New York Times that the plan must be "robust" and include "plenty of options."

We are looking at reparations on a scale that is the largest since Reconstruction," he concluded.
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