by Marcus Anthony Hunter
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types of compensation: political, intellectual, legal, economic, spatial, social, and spiritual, using analysis of historical documents, comparative international cases, and speculative parables.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.
"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
About the Author:
Dr. Marcus Anthony Hunter is the Scott Waugh Endowed Chair in the Social Sciences Division, Professor of Sociology & African American Studies at UCLA. Coiner of #BlackLivesMatter, Hunter served as the Inaugural Chair of UCLA's African American Studies Department and President of the Association of Black Sociologists. The National Science Foundation and Social Science Research Council have also supported his research. In addition, Hunter drafted and advised Congresswoman Barbara Lee's historic Bill to establish the first-ever US Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation Commission. He has appeared on C-SPAN's BookTV, MSNBC, BBC, NPR, in the Sacramento Bee, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.