Conference examines the histories of capitalism

Friday, October 7, 2016
Cornell Chronicle

More than 100 scholars from around the country shared their research and offered new perspectives at the Histories of Capitalism 2.0 conference, held at Cornell Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

Plenary speakers Kirsten Mullen and William “Sandy” Darity, [Director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics at Duke University]  addressed the topic of reparations for African-Americans. They said the acronym in the title of their presentation, “The ARC of Justice: Reparations for African Americans,” stood for three essential terms for reparations: apology, restitution and closure.

Mullen outlined how even whites who didn’t own slaves before the Civil War profited from slavery. “We and others contend that slavery was not confined to the South and that the economic benefits of slavery were not confined to the South,” she said.

Darity said rather than basing his argument for reparations on slavery itself, he bases it on the injustices since the end of slavery. He offered an overview of those injustices, including political oppression, the Jim Crow system, lynchings, racialized eugenics, forced sterilizations and school segregation.

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