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California Panel Proposes Reparations, Free College for Black Students

The report doesn’t outline the amount to be paid or source of payment, but suggests legislation

I am ready for the future.

Photographer: Nazar Abbas Photography/Moment/Getty Images

A first-in-the-nation California task force on reparations is recommending that the state pay compensation and give free college to descendants of enslaved Black Americans, and that the federal government consider a similar commission for national action.

The state should establish a cabinet-level agency to implement the recommendations and consider reforms of education, policing, health care and housing among other changes to address the harms that follow from slavery in the country, according to an interim report Wednesday from the nine-member panel. The task force, established by the California legislature in September 2020 after the murder by police of George Floyd in Minneapolis, did not recommend specific dollar values.