‘Reparations means to repair;’ Fulton task force looks into giving money to descendants of slaves

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — A debate in cities across the country is being taken up Thursday night in Fulton County.

The Fulton County Reparations Task Force met for the first time to look at giving money to descendants of slaves.

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Thursday night, the Reparations Task Force met for the first time in person inside the Fulton County Government Center to discuss reparations.

“Reparations means to repair. There’s not one certain avenue of repair if we’re talking about holistically. All of the atrocities that our ancestors were faced with, as their heirs, it’s our duty to recover every single avenue of repair,” said Vice Chair Marcus Coleman with Fulton County Reparations Task Force.

Thursday night’s crowd was few, even empty at the beginning of the meeting. Coleman said there’s a reason for that.

“We live in a geographical location, where forever reason, for folks that look like you and I, reparations seem like a pipe dream,” said Coleman.

He said the Task Force has been meeting over the last two years virtually, to talk about Reparations. Many wonder, how did we get here?

Doctor Daniel Black, a professor of African American Studies at Clark Atlanta University, said it’s been decades and decades in the making.

“The truth of the matter is, people have been talking about Reparations since we got off the slave ship. Reparations is really this idea that we should get what we worked for. The truth of the matter is 40 acres and a mule would not be sufficient to pay black people for what black people have given in this country,” he said.


Channel 2′s Larry Spruill asked Coleman what would reparations in Fulton County look like.

“It would be naïve and foolish of me to discuss such a controversial line item, but obviously eligibility is on the list. You know what’s funny, when it’s time to present any type of recommendation, the seats will be full and the criticism will be high. So, we encourage folks to come out before that date hits,” said Coleman.

The Task Force will meet every first and third Thursday. The first Thursday will be in person at the Fulton County Government Center. The third Thursday will be on Zoom.

They’re asking for the public’s input.

They’re hoping to have a proposal to the full Board of Commissioners by October 2024.

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Larry Spruill

Larry Spruill, WSB-TV

Larry Spruill Jr. has been part of the WSB-TV family since March 2022. He is an Emmy Nominated Journalist with over 12 years of news and storytelling experience.

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