Reparations and Decolonization: What can be done to “repair” long-standing economic injustice and land theft?

The National Black Food and Justice Alliance, along with a growing number of regional and local groups, including white “accomplices,” are calling for reparations of land and resources to farmers and communities of color and indigenous peoples to account for decades of extracted wealth. For more on the history of, and some of the numbers associated with, the economic damage in the African American community, see this infographic.

In the last several years, the US Government has settled a few lawsuits brought by American Indian tribes for mismanaging natural resources and other tribal assets. This has been a very slow process and many recognize that this has not accounted fully for the economic damage done in those communities. Clearly there is much work to be done.

We invite you to look through the resource links above, as well as this guide from Coming to the Table that includes a variety of ways to engage in the work of reparations.

Another resource to consult is Resource Generation’s Land Reparations and Indigenous Solidarity Action Guide.

What comes up for you as you read these resources and solutions related to reparations? How are you already, or how might you be, engaged in reparations through your food systems work, studies or community? Is reparations enough? If not, what more or what else?

Extra Material:

For more on the case for reparations, you can watch this interview (approx 14 minutes) with Ta Nehisi Coates or read his article in The Atlantic.

You can also consider some of the work toward “decolonizing wealth” (for example, Edgar Villanueva’s writings and principles).