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Radical Reparations: Healing the Soul of a Nation by Marcus Hunter (Hardcover)

Radical Reparations: Healing the Soul of a Nation by Marcus Hunter (Hardcover)

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Nonfiction - History - African American & Black - Social Science - Discrimination 


A timely groundbreaking book in the vein of Derrick Bell's Faces at the Bottom of the Well, one of the country's foremost voices on reparations, offers a radical and vital new framework going beyond the current debate over this controversial issue.

For over a century, the idea of reparations for the descendants of enslaved Black Americans has divided the United States. However, while the iconic phrase "40 acres and a mule" encapsulates the general notion of reparations, history has proven that the damages of enslavement on the African American community far exceed what a plot of land or a check could repair.

While reparations are being widely debated once again, current petitions to redress the lasting and collateral consequences of slavery have not moved past economic solutions, even though we know that monetary redress alone is not enough. Not only would many wounds be left unhealed, but relying solely on economics would continue a legacy of neglect for African Americans. In this thoughtful and sure-to-be controversial book, Marcus Anthony Hunter argues that a radical shift in our outlook is necessary; we need more comprehensive solutions such as those currently sought by today's educators, historians, activists, organizers, Afrofuturists, and socially conscious citizens.

In Radical Reparations, this conversation shifter, social justice pioneer, change agent, and inventor of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, which redefined the global conversation on racism and social justice, offers a unifying and unconventional framework for achieving holistic and comprehensive healing of African American communities. Hunter reimagines reparations through a profound new lens as he defines seven types of compensation: political, intellectual, legal, economic, spatial, social, and spiritual, using analysis of historical documents, comparative international cases, and speculative parables.

Profound and revolutionary, trenchant and timely, Radical Reparations provides a compellingly and provocatively reframing of reparations' past, present, and future, offering a unifying way forward for us all.


Dr. Marcus Anthony Hunter is the Scott Waugh Endowed Chair in the Social Sciences Division, Professor of Sociology & African American Studies at UCLA. Coiner of #BlackLivesMatter, Hunter served as the Inaugural Chair of UCLA's African American Studies Department and President of the Association of Black Sociologists. The National Science Foundation and Social Science Research Council have also supported his research. In addition, Hunter drafted and advised Congresswoman Barbara Lee's historic Bill to establish the first-ever US Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation Commission. He has appeared on C-SPAN's BookTV, MSNBC, BBC, NPR, in the Sacramento Bee, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.

"A heartfelt exploration of disenfranchised Black lives and what long-awaited reparations for slavery could look like.. A moving collection of human stories underscores a hope for 'radical reckoning.'" -- Kirkus Reviews

"Radical Reparations is more than a book--it is an urgent call to action, a manifesto for justice, and a blueprint for a more equitable America. This seminal work lays bare the undeniable truths of our nation's past while providing a clear pathway toward equity, truth, and healing. As a Congressperson committed to the promise of 'liberty and justice for all, ' this book is essential for anyone dedicated to the transformative potential of reparations. It's time we confront our history head-on, and Radical Reparations provides the necessary tools. A must-read!" -- Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-District 12)

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