Gates on the slave trade and reparations

Henry Louis Gates Jr. takes on the role played by Africans in promulgating the slave trade–and then ties this to the debate over reparations. I think the reparations question is a little more complicated than this. After all, aren’t these reparations meant to redress not just the abduction and enslaving of Africans, but also the generations of slave labor provided by their descendants? Reparations may not be either a workable or, really, desirable objective for African Americans today–President Obama, Gates points out, is not a fan–but this seems a somewhat odd fit with the rest of Gates’s essay.


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