California’s unprecedented reparations report details 150 years of anti-Black harm

In nearly 600 pages, the initial report recounts the “moral and legal wrongs the American and Californian governments have inflicted upon their own Black citizens.”

“Almost 150 years of active, conscious federal, state, and local government action and neglect of duty have resulted in compounded harms that are unique to Black Americans,” the authors wrote in a draft reviewed by NBC News prior to its release. 

The California report covers not just the immediate impact of enslavement but also the harms of decades of political neglect, finding that there has been sustained damage to generations of Black Americans. The damage has had a lasting effect on the political, economic, social, physical, mental and cultural well-being of Black people, particularly those descended from the formerly enslaved.

“Every state has some history of harm in the African American community,” said Kamilah Moore, a Los Angeles-based attorney and reparatory justice scholar who chairs California’s reparations task force.

A second report from the California task force, detailing specific reparations proposals and who should be eligible for them, is expected next year.