The memory of my mother is with me as I write this. Her Maternal great-grandfather was born in 1823 and was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery in the U.S. in 1863. He and his family worked to purchase 50 acres of land to improve their lives and to advance their capacities to not only survive but to thrive. His Son was killed fighting to keep that land which remains in my family today. I have every reason to feel they would view my opportunity to speak up and work towards Reparatory Justice at this time as very important! I believe that she smiles on me today, because I advocate for Reparations.

We as black people have been physically and psychologically exploited.

I was moved to join this initiative of Reparations with the NAACP- High Point Branch and others in our city; reflecting on the past and present inequalities we face today because of racism and discrimination. I am especially heartened by the recent establishment of the One High Point Commission and I support its mission to study and make recommendations to our City Council for reparations to African Descendants, the progeny of enslaved Africans who were forced, without compensation, to contribute their intellectual and physical labor for the enrichment of this nation and the city of High Point and for centuries after emancipation to suffer through the systematic efforts of Jim Crow segregation, redline housing practices, unequal education, employment, healthcare and justice. I advocate for Reparative Justice, because we as black people have been physically and psychologically exploited through the brutal inhumanity of rape, incarceration, and murder.

Shared History

This uncomfortable shared history of African and White Descendants in our country and city belongs to all of us. Its shared because of white privilege and all it afforded vs racial discrimination and it’s adverse effect. No one can just say “that was the past and it has nothing to do with us now. Not as long as any enjoy the privileges of a system that has unfolded over the centuries and, despite heroic democratic advances, has given rise to structural, economic, social, and cultural racism, leaving behind a legacy of broad discrimination against African Descendants. No one can “just say that was the past and it has nothing to do with us now”; not until “restitution for African Americans would eliminate racial disparities in wealth, income, education, health, sentencing and incarceration, political participation, and subsequent opportunities to engage in American political and social life.

Come To Terms Over the Past

Reparations is “not only an endeavor to compensate for past repression and exploration but also an endeavor to offset stubborn existing obstacles to full black participation in American political and social life. “ Not until Whites and Blacks will come to terms over the past, confront the present and unite to create a “new and transformed “ city of High Point.
Then once the reparations program is executed and racial inequality eliminated, African Americans would make no further claims for race specific policies on their behalf on the assumption that no new race specific injustices are inflicted upon them.

Brad Lilley