On Tuesday, in a historic move, the city council of Asheville, North Carolina, voted unanimously to provide reparations to Black residents. The city council also apologized for the city’s role in slavery, discrimination, the denial of basic liberties to Black residents.
The resolution does not mandate direct payments to the residents but will instead invest in areas where Black residents face disparities.
According to USA Today, “The resulting budgetary and programmatic priorities may include but not be limited to increasing minority home ownership and access to other affordable housing, increasing minority business ownership and career opportunities, strategies to grow equity and generational wealth, closing the gaps in health care, education, employment and pay, neighborhood safety and fairness within criminal justice,” the resolution reads.
Hopefully, the resolution can provide a foundation to help build generational wealth for the city’s Black residents, something that was denied to them through economic and regulatory discrimination.
The resolution calls on the city to create the Community Reparations Commission and invite community groups and other local governments to join. The commission will be tasked with making recommendations on programs and resources to be used.
During a public comment period, the majority of those that spoke expressed support for the measure, despite the council receiving some emails asking why they would have to pay for what happened during slavery.