Monumental Steps Toward Justice & Repair
In a historic stride, New York State has taken a major step toward reparative justice by creating a commission to consider reparations to address the consequences of slavery in the state. This comes on the heels of New York’s recent announcement that over $183 million has been secured for victims of the Holocaust and their heirs. These landmark decisions set the stage for the growing movement to secure media reparations for harms that newsrooms and policymakers have inflicted on Black people.
The harmful legacy of slavery in New York State has created a glaring wealth disparity between Black and white residents. The median net worth of white households in New York is $276,900, nearly 15 times greater than that of Black households in the state. This disparity is mirrored in the nation’s media landscape, which often props up white supremacy and has long misrepresented Black communities and provoked anti-Black violence. Just as stolen assets must be restored to Holocaust survivors and their descendants, acknowledging the generational trauma of this genocide and reclaiming their rightful history, there is an urgent need for media reparations for Black Americans.
Media 2070, a project committed to radically transforming oppressive systems in the media, underlines the urgent need for media reparations in its momentous essay. By amplifying the voices of Black communities and challenging anti-Black narratives, the project advocates for reparative action as a crucial step in the broader reparations movement and in building a just society grounded in care.
“New York has shown what incredible leadership and solidarity look like,” said Venneikia Williams, the campaign manager for Media 2070. “These actions acknowledge deep-rooted historical and cultural wounds, restoring dignity and identity to Black and Jewish communities and paving the path for equal rights and opportunities. We’re excited to see how this can reshape media systems and the storytelling our communities see in journalism."
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