Community Organizers Demand Reparations With Rally and Open Letter

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tags: slavery, reparations

The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) held a “Rally for Reparations” in front of Levi Hall, the University’s main administrative building, on Tuesday morning urging the University to make amends for what they view as “its founding ties to slavery,” according to Kamm Howard, national male co-chair of N’COBRA.

The rally was followed by a press conference at City Hall, where the group presented an open letter addressed to the University, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Barack and Michelle Obama “demanding reparatory justice.”

They held the rally in solidarity with the Reparations at UChicago Working Group (RAUC), which published a paper in May contending that the University’s ties to Illinois politician Stephen Douglas warrant reparative actions. Douglas, whose land endowment to the original Bronzeville campus was bankrolled by profits from his slave plantation, was also the first president of the old University’s board of trustees.

“The University of Chicago is founded by slaveholders and the labor of enslaved people can actually be traced through the years,” said Guy Emerson Mount, a co-author of the paper and teaching fellow in the social sciences. “The labor of enslaved people actually translates into buildings, endowments, and real hard material resources.”

Read entire article at The Chicago Maroon

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