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Wu announces research teams for task force on reparations

Mayor Michelle Wu took another step toward reparations this week, announcing the group of academics and history experts who will lead research efforts into Boston’s role in the transatlantic slave trade and the city’s more recent history of discrimination. The results will serve as the basis for recommendations by a reparations panel she formed last year.

Two teams, one investigating the city’s history from 1620 to 1940 and the other researching 1940 to the present, will conduct archival research to provide a report for use by the Reparations Task Force in drafting a plan to compensate Blacks for economic losses caused by slavery and its aftermath.

The announcement comes nearly one year after the appointment of the study commission and “marks the first significant step towards completing the work of the Reparations Task Force,” Wu said in a statement.

Joseph D. Feaster Jr., chair of the Reparations Task Force, said this step is a crucial part of the lengthy process to determine recompense for African Americans in Boston.

“As with anything, when you’re going to be trying to establish that there was a pattern in practice which had a dilatory effect upon a population, you have to deal with facts,” he said.

Margaret Burnham, a former judge who currently heads the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project at Northeastern University, will lead a team of Northeastern scholars investigating the years 1940 to the present.

Continue reading at the Bay State Banner.

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