On August 1. 2016 the Movement for Black Lives released their Six Point Platform and brought several years of organizing and public protest to the next strategic level. The platform covers six areas of concern: End the War On Black People, Reparations, Invest-Divest, Economic Justice, Community Control, Political Power.
In particular, the demand for reparations addresses the corporations and institutions that profit off of the continued oppression and exploitation of black lives. Also included in the demand for reparations is a focus on education:
- Changing lack of opportunities into a full and free access to public education.
- Restoration of culture and rebuilding of education that does not exploit, erase, or extract communities though dictated public school curricula.
According to the Movement, education has been both legally blocked from black people during slavery and then underfunded in segregated institutions. The racial inequality of education in this country has been shown in studies to date back to enslavement and proves that ongoing income inequality is common in countries with a history of slavery. Quality education remains intangible for the majority of people in the United States, while cuts in funding force fees and tuition to increasingly cover operating costs. Affordable lifelong education is critical to the health of a nation’s people and to ensure our communities thrive.
Alongside each of the six points, the Movement for Black Lives has provided carefully detailed policy suggestions and examples at local, state and national level. They also list actions that are already taking place including models in legislation like Senator Sander’s College for All Act, the Washington College Bond Scholarship and DEMOS Debt Free College.
While this small portion of their demand for reparations is only one example coming from black people for black people, the effect of the entire platform will change the overall well-being of our society as a whole. In there poignant platform the Movement states, “We recognize we have a shared struggle with all oppressed people; collective liberation will be a product of all of our work.”
For more information and to endorse the platform, please visit: https://policy.m4bl.org/platform/
Lucia Ippolito is an artist, teacher, and activist. As a painter she focuses on cultural/political themes in oil paint.
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