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Richard America on Reparations, over 45 years ago!

It has been interesting to note the recent discussion on reparations. It was stimulated by a major feature in The Atlantic.

A number of analysts, activists and scholars have done original work on the basic problem of racial economic injustice over decades. Richard F. America is one of them. He teaches in Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. Since the 1960s Dick has been a pioneer, and has produced much of the basic analysis and conceptual work on which the current discussion rests.

He first proposed a partial remedy in the late 1960s in the Harvard Business Review (“What Do You People Want?”). Many articles followed. He also organized and chaired Sessions at the Annual Economics Meetings, and many of these papers appeared in his edited book, The Wealth of Races: The Present Value of the Benefits From Past Injustices (Greenwood 1990.)

His monograph, Paying the Social Debt: What White America Owes Black America (Praeger 1993), provided programs and remedies based on the concept of unjust enrichment.

Dick is completing a new trade book for general readers–Solving the Race Problem—one he describes as addressing “racial inequalities, chronic tensions, and how to solve our country’s remaining vexing conundrum.” His body of research on reparations is longstanding and substantive, and I recommend that you consider what he has been saying for over 45 years.


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