Black clergy in Boston are demanding $15 billion in reparations from white churches, stating “We Want It Now.”

Boston Clergy Demand $15 Billion in Reparations from White Churches

In a bold move to address racial inequality, black clergy in Boston have come together to demand a $15 billion reparations package from “white churches” in the local area. The demands were announced at a press conference held at the Resurrection Lutheran Church and organized by the Boston People’s Reparations Commission, as reported by The Boston Globe.

One of the key speakers at the event was Reverend Kevin Peterson, known for his previous campaign to rename Faneuil Hall due to its ties to a slaveowner. He called on white churches to join in the collective effort to address the legacy of racism and slavery through reparations.

“We call sincerely and with a heart filled with faith and Christian love for our White churches to join us and not be silent around this issue of racism and slavery and commit to reparations,” Peterson declared.

The event also featured Danielle Williams, director of the social justice group Prophetic Resistance Boston, who shared her personal connection to slavery through her great-great-grandmother in North Carolina. Williams emphasized the urgent need for reparations, stating, “Black people, the descendants of slavery, have been washing the feet of our oppressors for well over 400 years. Now it’s time for you to wash our feet. The descendants of slavery, we want our reparations. We want it now.”

Rev. John E. Gibbons of Arlington Street Church echoed the call for action, stating that mere acknowledgement of historical ties to slavery was insufficient. He emphasized the importance of financial contributions from white churches to address the ongoing impact of slavery on the black community.

In response to these demands, a letter signed by 16 religious leaders has been sent to churches in the area, urging them to support and comply with the reparations task force’s initiative. The response from white churches to this call for action remains uncertain.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, a Democrat, has been supportive of the reparations movement, approving the launch of the city’s Reparations Task Force in February. This initiative aligns Boston with other cities like San Francisco in exploring the possibility of reparations payments for black individuals, regardless of their ancestors’ status as slaves.

Mayor Wu has previously drawn attention for her commitment to racial justice, including organizing a controversial “no-whites” Christmas Party for Boston city councillors. Despite initial backlash, Wu later clarified that the email invitation had been sent in error.

The push for reparations from white churches in Boston reflects a growing momentum in addressing historical injustices and systemic racism. As the dialogue around reparations continues, it remains to be seen how white churches and other institutions will respond to this call for restitution and reconciliation.