When I was growing up, my mother, Bette Parks Sacks, often told me stories about her youth in Mississippi. She spoke in a slow, sweet drawl, despite the fact that she’d spent her entire adult life in Chicago. I knew of the hardships and beauty of the South, transmitted to me through vivid recollections of her childhood and adolescence. I knew of her deep connection to the land, a holdover from a less-than-idyllic time when she picked cotton from sunup to sundown, beginning at the age of six. I knew that when she and her father headed to Chicago, in the nineteen-fifties, the day after she graduated from high school, they’d left everything behind, including almost all existing photographs of their large family. At the time, I didn’t realize that these intensely personal stories were part of a much larger historical narrative, one that was shared by millions of other black people who went on the same journey. read more


The Case for Reparations


Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.  TA-NEHISI COATES