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Keller @ Large: Task force weighing reparations for Black Bostonians faces challenges

Keller @ Large: Reflecting on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and message of hope
Keller @ Large: Reflecting on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and message of hope 04:27

BOSTON – City Council members voted last month to form a task force to study how it can provide reparations to Black Bostonians for the city's role in slavery and its legacy of inequality. But action is far from a guarantee. 

WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller talked to NAACP Boston branch president Tanisha Sullivan about the possibility of reparations gaining traction.

Keller pointed out that it is a conversation that has been happening in Boston and nationwide for decades, without much success. One reason for that is that polls have shown the word "reparations" has political toxicity.

Still, Sullivan said she is excited that the conversation is advancing in Boston.

"We have to address both racial and economic injustice. The enslavement of people, the enslavement of Black people, really at its root is an economic conversation. I am very pleased that our City Council has advanced this work," Sullivan said. "I think this is part of the work. Yes, it is going to be hard. I can't underscore this enough. This is going to be a challenge."

Sullivan also reflected on the state of racial equality ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.

Keller asked Sullivan if she agrees with the famous quote by Dr. King when he said "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

"I believe he was right. I have hope that he was right. I think we have evidence that it is true that as we continue to press toward greater opportunity and greater equality for all people that we are and we will get closer to justice," Sullivan said. "The key piece here is that Dr. King called out that it is a long road, that it's a long journey. This is not about instant gratification or an instant repair to harm, but that this is going to take some time."

The NAACP's national conference is scheduled to be held in Boston this summer for the first time since 1982. Originally scheduled to take place in 2020 but postponed due to the COVID pandemic, the event begins July 26 with a youth conference and then runs from July 28-August 1. 

Keller @ Large: Part 2

Keller @ Large: Task force faces challenges in discussions over reparations for Black Bostonians 04:55
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