Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Case for Reparations

Selected by Ander Mikalson (A '12)

"Before our meeting, please reflect on your family’s financial history.  Has your family enjoyed opportunities for asset building, or been locked out of such opportunities by racist policies and laws?  Has family wealth been passed across the generations?  Do you have plunder in your bank account, or have you been robbed?  If you feel comfortable sharing these reflections with the group, I thought it could be interesting & enlightening to relate our personal financial situations to the wider picture painted by Coates.

Also, if you have time and feel interested, you could investigate the history of housing policy in the place(s) you and your family are from, and share that information with us on Friday.  (Naomi and Cyriaco, I’m very curious about policies in Israel and Brazil.)

You all are truly a bright spot in every fortnight!  Looking forward to our discussion."


  • Coates, Ta-Nehisi. "The Case for Reparations." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, June 2014. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/