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U.N. Group Says U.S. Owes Reparations To African Americans

A pair of slave shackles on display in the Slavery and Freedom Gallery in the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture on Sept. 14, 2016, in Washington. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
A pair of slave shackles on display in the Slavery and Freedom Gallery in the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture on Sept. 14, 2016, in Washington. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The United States owes African Americans reparations for its history of “racial terrorism,” according to a new report from a United Nations working group based in Geneva.

The team was invited by the U.S. government to conduct a fact-finding mission that explored the many ways in which racial discrimination has taken form, including police violence, mass incarceration and housing segregation; it also looks back in detail at slavery and the brutal practice of lynching.

Ricardo Sunga, who helped author the report, speaks with Here & Now‘s Robin Young about what they found. She also talks with Noliwe Rooks of Cornell University.

Guests

Ricardo Sunga III, chairperson of the United Nations’ Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent. He’s also a human rights lawyer and professor of law at the University of the Philippines. The group is a part of @UNHumanRights.

Noliwe Rooks, professor and interim department chair of the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University. She tweets @nrookie.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.