In a historic vote, the Asheville, N.C. City Council has unanimously decided to put their money where their mouth is and provide reparations to its Black residents as well as offer an apology for the city’s role in slavery and discrimination.
“Hundreds of years of Black blood spilled that basically fills the cup we drink from today,” Councilman Keith Young, one of two African American members on the council said, according to the Asheville Citizen Times. “It is simply not enough to remove statutes. Black people in this country are dealing with issues that are systemic in nature.”
The 7-0 vote does not call for direct payments to the descendants of enslaved Africans, but does mandate investment in areas where Black residents have typically faced discrimination and been divested.
“The resulting budgetary and programmatic priorities may include but not be limited to increasing minority home ownership and access to other affordable housing, increasing minority business ownership and career opportunities, strategies to grow equity and generational wealth, closing the gaps in health care, education, employment and pay, neighborhood safety and fairness within criminal justice,” the resolution notes, according to the news site.
The resolution also seeks to form a Community Reparations Commission which will put forth recommendations on how resources should be allocated.