GBH, January 2024
Boston is taking a major step towards reparations for Black residents: The city has chosen the group of academics and experts who will be leading a research effort into Boston’s role in the transatlantic slave trade and subsequent discrimination. The task force will be made up of two different groups, said Ron Mitchell, editor and publisher of the Bay State Banner, whose publication broke the news on the research efforts.
“They’ll be looking at the various different discriminatory actions in relation to housing, in relation to job placement, in relation to economic development, just a whole host of things dating back through from the beginning of slavery,” Mitchell told GBH’s Morning Edition co-host Jeremy Siegel. “They’ll just be looking at really what happened over those time periods that made it harder for African Americans and descendants of Africa to thrive in this country.”
A team from Northeastern University led by Prof. Margaret Burnham, a former judge who now heads the university’s Civil Rights and Restoration Justice Project, will be studying impacts of slavery and discrimination from 1940 to the present. The team will include Northeastern Professor Ted Landsmark, who studies public policy and urban affairs, and Professor Richard O’Bryant, director of the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute.