Discussion | The Case for Reparations
The Race and Public Space (RAPS) Working Group at NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to join for a conversation with Westenley Alcenat about his 2017 Jacobin article about the prospect of reparations for Haiti along with a discussion of the related argument Ta-Nehisi Coates makes in his influential 2014 Atlantic article. This is the inaugural event of the working group’s Reparations Project, a project which explores the prospect of reparations for Transatlantic slavery and colonialism, widely recognized as one of the most horrific events in world history. This inquiry will take the form of common readings to explore and frame the central issues, lectures by experts to interrogate the stakes, legal research to evaluate the case, and economic and statistical analysis to explore the feasibility of reparations for peoples and nations victimized by colonial slavery.
Westenley Alcenat is a scholar, teacher, mentor, and academic consultant. His primary focus is the African American protest tradition, American slavery, the trans-Atlantic abolition movement, and the Haitian Revolution’s legacy and influence on Black American radicalism in the United States. He teaches U.S., Atlantic, and Afro-Caribbean history at Fordham University in the Bronx. He was previously a Visiting Scholar in the Department of History at MIT’s School of the Humanities Arts and Social Sciences (SHASS) and an Associate Fellow at the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History (WIGH) at Harvard University. Wes was trained by historian Eric Foner, Clinton DeWitt Professor of History at Columbia University. Wes is a native of Haiti and partly grew up in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area in Minnesota. He lives in the BedStuy neighborhood with his pet rabbit, BB King.