The resolution apologized for Ashevilleâ€™s past involvement with slavery and the systemic discrimination that developed out of the practice. It called on leaders at the local, state and federal level to right past wrongs as well.Â
Details will be hashed out over the coming year.Â
The city will form a community reparations commission to make â€œshort, medium and long-term recommendationsâ€ to address â€œthe damage caused by public and private systemic Racism.â€Â
City management were also tasked with developing â€œshort, medium and long-term recommendations to specifically address the creation of generational wealth and to boost economic mobility and opportunityâ€ for Black residents.Â
The resolution acknowledged systemic problems facing the Black community, including racist housing policies, discriminatory education practices and wage and economic disparities, among other issues.Â
Anti-racism protesters staged large demonstrations in Asheville â€• as in many places around the country â€• after the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minnesota. Activists were able to successfully use the momentum to push the resolution forward.Â
â€œIt is simply not enough to remove statues. Black people in this country are dealing with issues that are systemic in nature,â€ said Asheville Council member Keith Young, one of two Black representatives on the council and the main proponent of the resolution,Â according to the Asheville Citizen Times.
Council member Sheneika Smith, the other Black representative, received emails asking why residents should pay for what happened during slavery, she told the Citizen Times. At least one other caller said the resolution was â€œdivisiveâ€ during the Tuesday night council meeting.
â€œ[Slavery] is this institution that serves as the starting point for the building of the strong economic floor for white America while attempting to keep Blacks subordinate forever to its progress,â€ Smith said.Â
Activists pushing for reparations at the national level face a steep uphill climb, but they have hadÂ more success at the local and state level.
The state of North Carolina in 2013Â set aside $10 million to make direct monetary payments to Black people â€• mostly women and girls â€• forcibly sterilized as part of a Depression-era eugenics program. The fund was later opened up to surviving family members.Â
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter