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“The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the most culturally-relevant examinations of America’s tradition of systematic economic exploitation, particularly of Blacks. Published in 2016, this Atlantic article, which veers into being a short book in length, looks at the foundational policies of the land: 400 years of slavery, decades of Jim Crow and separate but equal that have set the scene for the massive disparties found in the coutry today. The real human collateral of America’s plunder sets the scene for the question of Coates’ question: why hasn’t the country made a serious attempt into, at the very least, examining reparations.
We will pair this reading with Portland State University professor Dr. Karen Gibson’s cutting delve into the effects of racist policies from 1940-2000 systematic disinvestment in of Blacks in N/NE Portland following the Vanort floods, “Bleeding Albina: A History of Community Disinvestment”.
Finally, throughout the seminar we will use lyrics from select songs off of Pulitzer-prize winning rapper, Kendrick Lamar’s 2016 into Black life manifesto, “To Pimp a Butterfly”. Released at the height of a growing national uprisings, this album confronts America’s demons through raw first-person tales of race, legacy, money and heritage.
These works paired together will make for a conversation anchored in our city and state’s racist realities, while providing an artistic and literary springboard for readers to grapple with the Black America in our own backyard.
“The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Delve Access Program
We want Delve seminars to be accessible to everyone, regardless of income and background. We understand that our tuition structure can present obstacles for some people. We are happy to offer an Access Program which provides reduced tuition to qualifying participants. Contact Susan Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to take this Delve at the Access Rate.