SAN DIEGO — As the issue of racial equality continues to play a big role in the upcoming presidential election, California is one step closer to paying reparations to descendants of slaves.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law Wednesday that makes California the first state in the nation to study how to do just that. A nine-person task force will study and make proposals on just how much.
Anne Price whose great grandparents were slaves said this isn't about the money, it's about reconciliation.
“It’s the acknowledgment that this atrocity did occur and it's carried forward in so many ways,” Price said.
Though Price never met her great grandparents, she said their suffering shaped her own path. Price is the president of the Insight Center - a national organization that advocates for economic equity.
“This is something, not just part of our past, it's shaping how people are living today,” she said.
The disparities and injustice in the Black community are just what San Diego Assemblywoman Shirley Weber highlighted when pushing the legislation.
“The age of enslavement both in California and across the nation birthed a legacy of inequity in the Black community that continues to impact Black life in the state,” said Weber (D) San Diego.
Opponents argued reparations should be an issue addressed on a federal level. Weber said America has acknowledged those who were treated unjustly, just not African Americans.
“Native Americans for the theft of their lands, Japanese Americans for internment, the Marshal Plan ensured European Jews - ensured reparations for the Holocaust,” said Weber.
Price brings up the one attempt at reparations after the Civil War noting the "promise of 40 acres and a mule.” It was reversed after Lincoln’s death.
Her ancestors waited.
“It’s what we’ve been waiting for for many generations and it's never happened in this country,” she said.