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Black folks in California could finally get their forty acres and a mule. California announces plans to set aside $12 million in its next budget to provide reparations to Black residents. Though activists are still hoping for a larger deal, the plan is a start. Read more details inside.

The Washington Post reported on June 28 that a reparation task force established in California in 2023 proposed billions in reparations. The proposal included $1.2 million for longtime Black residents who are at least 50 years old. California senator Steven Bradford celebrated the state for allocating a reparation budget despite the state’s difficult financial situation.

“In this tough economic climate, for us to find this money for reparations sends a signal not only to the state but to the nation that California is committed to addressing the harms that are the result of slavery in this country,” Bradford told The Post.

Meanwhile, advocates for reparation like Chris Lodgson declare that this is still not enough for the years of suffering Black people endured on American soil. Advocates do recognize that this is a historic move in the right direction.

“Obviously, it’s not enough,” Lodgson told the Washington Post “But this is the first time ever that reparations for Black people will be a line item in a state budget.”

California is one of the leading advocates for reparations while lawmakers around the country make plans to provide compensation for Black Americans who are descendants of enslaved people. District of Columbia lawmakers join the state of California in an effort to discuss reparations. Their proposal set for a 2025 budget deal includes $1.5 million to implement a commission to “study” reparations. Chicago also joined the nationwide effort when mayor Brandon Johnson signed an executive order to create a reparations task force in the city.

There are still several feats that stand in the way of true change for Black Americans and reparations. One of the major setbacks for the movement happened recently when the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled against survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, who filed a lawsuit in an effort to get reparations.

Trevor Smith, executive director of the BLIS Collective, a nonprofit focused on bringing reparations for Black and Native Americans, praises California for taking the lead in the effort.

“In the wake of the Tulsa decision and the Evanston lawsuit, folks have been asking: ‘Is the reparations movement really going anywhere?’” Smith told The Post. “So the fact that California continues to lead the way is really important.”

We will keep you updated with what’s next for reparations across America, and if Black folks can finally get a piece of the pie.