Radical Reparations: Healing the Soul of a Nation
A timely groundbreaking book in the vein of Derrick Bell's Faces at the Bottom of the Well, one of the country's foremost voices on reparations, offers a radical and vital new framework going beyond the current debate over this controversial issue.
For over a century, the idea of reparations for the descendants of enslaved Black Americans has divided the United States. However, while the iconic phrase "40 acres and a mule" encapsulates the general notion of reparations, history has proven that the damages of enslavement on the African American community far exceed what a plot of land or a check could repair.
While reparations are being widely debated once again, current petitions to redress the lasting and collateral consequences of slavery have not moved past economic solutions, even though we know that monetary redress alone is not enough. Not only would many wounds be left unhealed, but relying solely on economics would continue a legacy of neglect for African Americans. In this thoughtful and sure-to-be controversial book, Marcus Anthony Hunter argues that a radical shift in our outlook is necessary; we need more comprehensive solutions such as those currently sought by today's educators, historians, activists, organizers, Afrofuturists, and socially conscious citizens.
In Radical Reparations, this conversation shifter, social justice pioneer, change agent, and inventor of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, which redefined the global conversation on racism and social justice, offers a unifying and unconventional framework for achieving holistic and comprehensive healing of African American communities. Hunter reimagines reparations through a profound new lens as he defines seven types of compensation: political, intellectual, legal, economic, spatial, social, and spiritual, using analysis of historical documents, comparative international cases, and speculative parables.
Profound and revolutionary, trenchant and timely, Radical Reparations provides a compellingly and provocatively reframing of reparations' past, present, and future, offering a unifying way forward for us all.
Praise for Radical Reparations: Healing the Soul of a Nation
“A heartfelt exploration of disenfranchised Black lives and what long-awaited reparations for slavery could look like. . . . A moving collection of human stories underscores a hope for ‘radical reckoning.’” — Kirkus Reviews
"Radical Reparations is more than a book—it is an urgent call to action, a manifesto for justice, and a blueprint for a more equitable America. This seminal work lays bare the undeniable truths of our nation's past while providing a clear pathway toward equity, truth, and healing. As a Congressperson committed to the promise of 'liberty and justice for all,' this book is essential for anyone dedicated to the transformative potential of reparations. It's time we confront our history head-on, and Radical Reparations provides the necessary tools. A must-read!" — Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-District 12)
"Marcus Anthony Hunter is one of America’s most talented thinkers and writers of this 21st century. Not only does he follow in the grand and rigorous literary tradition of individuals like W.E.B. DuBois and James Baldwin, but he is equally a prophetic messenger of what was, what is, and what should be. His book, Radical Reparations: Healing The Soul of A Nation, is a gift and a love letter to us all. It is a humble but powerful manual on truth and reconciliation long overdue in our discourse around the human damage wrought by racism in the form of slavery, segregation, mean-spirited policies, right on up to the horrific public murder of George Floyd. This book is not only a must-read, but it is likewise a holistic vision for a national conversation, for real healing, at long last." — Kevin Powell, Tupac Shakur biographer and Grammy-nominated spoken word poet
“It takes vision and courage to write the story of America in a world where reparations are real. Marcus Anthony Hunter’s “Radical Reparations” creates a blueprint to help us find a way to justice and healing, and shows us how to build a home, for everyone, from sea to shining sea.”
— Erika Alexander, activist, actress, producer, co-founder of Color Farm Media