“For 246 years our uncompensated labor launched wealthy institutions and private corporate fortunes in America such as Brown University and Fleet Bank, both founded by the Brown brothers, who got their start in American business building slave ships and investing in the slave trade.
Cotton made everyone associated with it wealthy- the plantation owners, the brokers, the shippers, the shipbuilders, the jobbers, the United States treasury- everyone became rich except for the people who produced the cotton. They- we- us- our forebearers- were stripped of everything- the value of our labor, our mothers, our fathers, our children, and by the tens of millions, our very lives.
And so my friends, let us tell our young that we are behind in America not because there is anything wrong with us, but rather, that something heinous happened a long time and continued for a long time after. Tell them that our people have a proud and ancient history that must be told to them, that slavery robbed us of warranted wealth and memory, that slavery extended under new guises well into the 20th century, that we have endured in America every imaginable discrimination for 346 years.
Tell them we have been the victims of the longest-running crime against humanity in the world over the last 500 years. And lastly, tell them that like all other peoples in the world who’ve suffered human rights crimes at the hands of governments- Jews, Koreans, Japanese-Americans- we too must be compensated by the government complicit in the crime against us.” -From, “The Reckoning” By: Randall Robinson