Back to RJ Archive

American reparations theory and practice at the crossroads.

Yamamoto, Eric K
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) California Western Law Review. 44(1): 1-85.

The path they next traverse will likely determine the long-term viability of reparations claims, not only for African
Americans, but also for anyone suffering the persistent wounds of injustice. … “At best, reparation is a symbolic effort
to balance the scales and an articulation of responsibility for the harm done. … Professor Ifill thus locates reparations
within the larger and more daunting task of reconciliation, or social healing, which aims to create a “new community”
out of one “plagued by division. … Human rights claims and wide-ranging, successful and failed, global redress efforts
shed light on how recognition, responsibility, reconstruction, and reparation shape a kind of justice that affects social
healing. … This concern for legitimacy strategically links the generation of legal consciousness about the human right to
redress for injustice, to America’s much-publicized embrace of democratic principles. … The Timor-Leste Truth and
Reconciliation Commission’s recommendation highlighting gender in the reparations calculus is indicative of this new
frontier. … The framework’s assessment reveals that without meaningful acts of reconstruction and reparation, there
will not likely be the kind of ground level experience of justice that promotes social healing for African Americans or
for the people of Virginia. (Excerpt).


AbstractCourtsNorth America and CaribbeanPolicePrisonsRJ and Community DisputesRJ in Schools
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now