You can tune in live to the proceedings of the California Reparations Task Force, underway Wednesday and Thursday, as the state is the first in the country working on formalizing reparations for slavery.
Something very historic is happening in San Francisco’s Fillmore District this week, perhaps even as you read this. The Third Baptist Church is holding the first in-person meeting of the state’s Reparations Task Force in nearly a year. (The meetings have been teleconferenced since last July.) The task force was created by A.B. 3121, the nation’s first reparations law that Governor Newsom signed in September 2020, and is directed “to study and develop reparation proposals for African Americans” and “recommend appropriate remedies in consideration of the Task Force’s findings.”
You can watch the proceedings live or on demand at the California Department of Justice YouTube channel, both Wednesday, April 13 and Thursday, April 14. Both days’ meetings are expected to go until 5 p.m., and you can view the Reparations Task Force agenda online.
You are probably not familiar with many of the nine members of the Reparations Task Force, with the exception of well-known SF civil rights activist and Black community leader Rev. Amos Brown. (Brown is also a pastor at Third Baptist Church, and president of the SF branch of the NAACP, and a member of the national NAACP’s Board of Directors. He also once served on the SF Board of Supervisors.) The task force is otherwise a collection of elected officials, academics, and attorneys.
And their work is controversial, even if you fully support reparations. In late March, they decided that only direct descendants of slaves would receive reparations. That means only a fraction of the state’s 2.6 million Black residents would be entitled to any tangible reparations, which are expected to come in the form of cash payments.
The task force does not have final say on reparations, but they are tasked with preparing a proposal by June 2023 that would have to go before California legislators. Their work is separate from the SF African American Reparations Advisory Committee that is considering similar efforts locally.
Screenshot via Youtube