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Backstory on reparations and American history

Updated: Mar 5

Dear Neighbors,

Google BackstoryRadio.org and reparations to listen to an hour and fifteen minute scholarly synopsis of the history of the reparations movement, starting with often overlooked female organizer, Callie House (1861-1928) and continuing through riveting interviews with advocates of the Rosewood, FL Claims Bill (1994) and Georgetown University 272 Referendum (2019), a clip from Dr. King’s often ignored “We’re coming to Washington to get our check” speech (1968), and concluding with insightful wealth gap scholarly analysis from Duke Public Policy Prof. William Darity.


This is a masterful overview of an old public policy and moral debate that is gaining new traction in the 2020 presidential campaign and beyond. Most thought-provoking quote from the commentary: “I think we have to confront both the history and the acknowledgment that the history has produced the kind of inequalities we face today before we can effectively expect to win a reparations debate.”


Very proud of my friends, Profs. Brian Balogh, Ed Ayers and Nathan Connolly, for compiling this insightful overview in an accessible popular radio/audio format…also proud of my former law partner, Steve Hanlon for continuing to tell this uncomfortable but riveting Rosewood Massacre story. My less than riveting role in that overall story was that Steve assigned me as his newly selected full time pro bono associate to work with Rosewood family leaders (including Arnett Doctor) and the Assistant Florida Attorney General on figuring out an equitable way to distribute the $500,000.00 that was allocated in the Rosewood Claims Bill to compensate those who could prove that they were, in fact, descendants of one of the families that was forced (by mob violence and terror) to abandon lands they once owned in Rosewood, Florida.


Hoping you will listen and join me in confronting the details of our past

National Museum of African American History & Culture












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Contact DEI Facilitation & Consulting (386-473-1336) to discuss how Ted Small can utilize our history of effective cross-racial collaborations to facilitate honest dialogue about the potential for transformative collaboration between the diverse stakeholders in your organization.



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