40 Acres and a Mule
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Session 1: Saturday June 29th, 10:00am - 12:00pm
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Since the end of slavery in the United States in the 19th century the question of reparation to slaves and their descendants has been a topic of conversation. The unfinished process of Reconstruction of the South left unfilled the promise of 40 Acres and a mule to Black Americans. More recently, in the 2016 presidential campaign and currently in the run up to the nomination of the Democratic Party presidential campaign the topic of reparations has surfaced yet again. While most candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination easily gave lip service to the idea of reparations and to support for H.R. 40. which promises to study reparations, Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders was initially skeptical.This panel aims to put reparations and socialism in a historical framework which clarifies current debate by exploring three discussion questions: 1) What do meaningful reparations to descendants of slavery look like? 2) How do can reparations be won and can they be achieved under capitalism? 3) Is there is socialist case for reparations for slavery?


Jawanza Williams is an anti-racist, an organizer, pacifist, feminist, Harm Reductionist, Prison Abolitionist & Socialist from Beaumont, TX who currently resides in NYC. Jawanza is the Lead Organizer at Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY).

Born and raised in Harlem, New York, Marc W. Polite is a poet and essayist. He writes about social justice, labor issues, film, technology, and literature. His reviews and striking commentary appear in Poets & Writers, Black Star News, Madame Noire, The Amsterdam News, The Grio, TIME...

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Bio: Edna Bonhomme is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science. She works on the intersection of history of science and colonialism in the Middle East and North Africa. She has written for publications including but not limited to Africa is a Country,...

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Robert Cuffy is a supporter of the Socialist Workers Alliance of Guyana, the Socialist Labor Group and the maintainer of the C.L.R. James and Raya Dunayevskaya pages at the Marxist Internet Archive who has an interest in the state capitalist political economy arguments of the Johnson-Forest...

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