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HomeGeneralBoston Church Leaders Demand $15 Billion Compensation From White Churches

Boston Church Leaders Demand $15 Billion Compensation From White Churches

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Religious leaders in Boston have come together to demand reparations for Black Americans, including calling for $15 billion from white church and city officials to help close the gap in equity and justice.

John Gibbons, a white pastor who leads a multiracial congregation, said many people see Boston as the “Deep North,” an ideological play of the racism of the Deep South.

Edwin Sumpter, co-director of the Boston People’s Reparations Committee, who shares the same role as Heather Cook, said black Americans have contributed greatly to the country but still suffer the consequences of slavery consequences are poor housing, crime, unemployment, policing, all policing, health care, the environment.

According to the group’s website, in 2022, Boston established that there would be a reparations task force to study the legacy of slavery and its impact on today’s descendants of the city.

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Gibbons said his social justice group, the New Democracy Alliance, helped push the Boston City Council to issue an apology in 2022 for the city`s involvement in black slavery and the establishment of a compensation working group.

He said the group is working directly with the Boston People’s Reparations Committee — a group of local black activists that collaborates with other progressive groups across the city — and calling for reparations.

In an interview with local news outlet BCAM TV in Massachusetts last month, Boston People’s Reparations Commission co-director Heather Cook said the city’s official task force needs a working relationship.

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“Because of this shortage, we found it necessary to establish the [Boston People’s Reparations] Commission,” Cook said.

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Late last month, Boston People’s Reparations Committee Chairman Rev. Whites joined his mission to repair Boston’s black community – financially, emotionally, and historically. 

We sincerely, with hearts full of faith and Christian love, call on the white churches to join us and not be silent on this issue of racism and slavery and pledged compensation, according to the Boston Globe. Edgerton said the Old South Church in Boston has a mandate to conduct historical research related to its heritage.

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Pastor Kenneth Young, associate director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, told The Daily Beast that the history of enslaved black people in Boston and the trajectory toward the elimination of the black community is not a mainstream topic in the city.

Father Morgan Allen of Trinity Church in Boston said that although his church did not directly enslave people, slaves, according to records, were found, but he realized that its members were likely patrons of many industries that profited from the slave labor of black people.

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Records identify some black people as “free,” while we also expect that before Massachusetts abolished slavery in 1783, some may have been slaves of white parishioners,  Allen wrote.

In Trinity Church`s nearly 300-year history, our parishioners were and remain entangled in racist structures and systems, even as we continually seek justice.

“African Americans in the 21st century are in a position because of what African Americans in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries endured,” Sumpter said, explaining that he did not want the black community to remain in the dark as the City of Boston’s Reparations Task Force “stands still” and ultimately decides what to do. I think these issues are too important to be left to the black community and responsibility to white institutions.

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