After the US Civil War, black people could no longer be used as slaves. However, they had few opportunities. Many of them continued working on the farms where they had worked as slaves. They were now paid, but they were paid very little.
Some historians believe that African Americans in the USA still suffer from unequal economic, social and educational situations because they were not helped after the Civil War.
Therefore, many African Americans, these days, are asking for 'reparations'. Reparations payments are usually paid by losing countries to winning countries after wars are over. In this case, however, African Americans believe that an injustice was done to their ancestors and that they should now receive money from the US government for all the years their ancestors worked as slaves. Many Americans feel this money would finally help African Americans to get on the road to true freedom and equality in the USA.
Here is an article about a UN group and about how horrible conditions are for black folks in the USA. The Christian Science Monitor magazine might force you to take a brief survey to read the whole article. Sorry about that. I took the survey quickly - it was two questions.
Vocabulary from the article:
reparatory justice - justice meant to fix or repair a wrong situation
disparities - differences that constitute inequality
preliminary - the first draft
the legacy of slavery - the history which continues to affect black people
subordination - forcing people to become inferior in status
reconciliation - making up, fixing problems so that nobody feels resentment or hurt any more
due diligence - conscientiousness, a sense of doing the right thing
disproportionate imprisonment - black people are thrown in jail at much higher rates than white folks
a massacre - when many innocent people are killed at one time
persistent - in this case: continuing
structural discrimination - discrimination is applied racism and if it is structural, it is built into the system
de facto barriers - 'in fact' barriers...they are not supposed to be there, but they are, in fact, there
wealth - amount of money and property
commemoration - remembering
profound - in this case: serious
manifestations - how something shows or reveals itself
xenophobia - hating people who are different or who come from different countries
reignited - started again...to ignite a fire is to start a fire
internment camps - places people are held temporarily until a time comes when it is felt safe to release them. Japanese Americans were forced to live in such camps during World War 2 because the US government did not trust them.
sins - wrongs done, usually to God, but a sin can be a wrong committed against another person.
maturation - growth, development