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Black America Today Debate: Slavery Reparations
Hugh B. Price, National Urban League Hugh B. Price, National Urban League Robert L. Woodson, Sr. National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise Robert L. Woodson, Sr. National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise

Should reparations for slavery be paid to African Americans by corporations and/or the federal government? Why or why not?

Robert Woodson's Response: The question of reparations is one of those hot racial issues that divert attention from the fact that solutions to the real problems of the black community are not being pursued or supported by those who purport to be its leaders. It is an unrealistic issue. What would we do about the 3,000 or so blacks who were slave holders? What about those in Africa who sold their brothers into slavery? What about the 360,000 whites that lost their lives in the Civil War fighting to end slavery? What about whites--and blacks--who came to America well after slavery was ended?

Hugh Price's Response: I believe in reparations in principle. But I seriously doubt that it's in the cards. I don't foresee the requisite political will emerging in the majority community to make it feasible.

Robert Woodson's Rebuttal:I continue to disagree in principle with reparations because of the time that has passed since slavery and the inability to identify those that suffered, those who were responsible, and those who opposed it or had no part in it.


Debate Topics Menu
Affirmative Action
Diversity in Schools
Economic Future
Faith Based Initiatives
Knowing Each Other
Leadership Models
Media Stereotypes
Political Power
Race in the 21st Century
Slavery Reparations

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