Celebrate Juneteenth with Action!

Jun 19, 2023 | PDA News

Reparations: An Idea Whose Time is at Hand


Juneteenth, commemorating the final vestige of chattel slavery on June 19, 1865, has finally become a national holiday. Although it is celebrated primarily in African American communities, Juneteenth is a truly American holiday. For nearly 160 years, it has marked a new beginning and highlighted the resilience of formerly enslaved people to endure and strive for change after the cataclysm of the Civil War.  

However, awareness and acknowledgment are only the first steps on a long road toward the ideal of Liberty and Justice for All. Without substantive action, the holiday becomes a mere token and its promise rings hollow.

PDA is all about substantive action, and in this case, that means reparations.

Reparations are not handouts, but rather an acknowledgment of systemic wrongs that have prevented the African American populace from realizing the American dream. Reparations require codified remedies that address centuries of de jure, as well as de facto policies that created an African American underclass. In other words, reparations are an investment, fulfilling America’s promise to the descendants of its formerly enslaved citizenry.  

PDA has endorsed Rep. Cori Bush’s brand-new legislation, The Reparations Now Resolution, urging Federal Reparations to descendants of enslaved Black people and people of African descent. The resolution outlines the various forms those reparations should take, supports existing reparatory justice efforts such as H.R. 40 (commission to study reparations) and H. Con. Res. 44 (establishing a Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Commission), and provides further momentum to reparations efforts at the state and local levels.

If you want to take an active part in healing the racial divides and the wounds of more than 400 years of injustice, please volunteer. Together, we make change matter.

In solidarity, remembrance, and action,

Maryam Ar-Raheem and Debra Schrishuhn for the PDA National Team

1 Comment

  1. Roger L Sherman

    The govt gave the slave owners reparations.