The mission of the Social Justice Resource Network is to link faith to action by providing information and resources on the social issues of our time. In its July, 2023 newsletter, the network reviews reparations in this country, from those made to Native Americans and Japanese Americans in the 1940s, through torture victims of former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge, and Holocaust survivors in Germany, to name just a few. Its research supports efforts to make reparations to descendants of slaves in this country.

Consider that about 20 million African Americans report their ancestors were enslaved in the United States.

It is estimated that the U.S. benefited from over 222 million hours of forced slave labor, or the equivalent of roughly $97 trillion worth of work, between 1619 and 1865. At the end of the Civil War Union leaders issued Special Field Order 15 which promised formerly enslaved families “40 acres and a mule” — a promise that was never fulfilled.

Read the full findings and research compiled by the network, here.