The Reparations Tea is Hot
“Our Reparations Tea Tees are an ode to our ancestors and the broken promises made to them. They highlight the economic inequality in Black, Brown, and Native American communities and the effect it has on our collective future. A reminder that we built the world for free, we deserve any seat at the table and will build our own tables as we see fit. Our Reparations tees are not only for us, but for true allies of Black, Brown, and Indigenous American people’s culture, history, and advancement.”- Stacey Filé, Lead Designer, Stächa Huis
Why 40 ACRES AND A HEDGEFUND?
The three points our tees seek to raise awareness for are:
1. Black Spending Power: In the USA, currently estimated at $1.3 trillion dollars according to study by Nielsen’s and will reach $1.54 trillion by 2022. Black people spend the most money but only own about 10% of the approximate 27 million businesses in the US (that’s 2.7 million out of 27 million.)
2. Promote Financial Literacy: Through a true understanding of finances (spending, saving, the effects of debt, etc.), Black and Brown people can strive for and reach financial freedom and more importantly build generational wealth.
3. Black, Brown and Indigenous American Healing: The socioeconomic state and mental state of these communities after being systematically oppressed, dismissed, jailed, killed, placed in food deserts, left out of conversations regarding educational advancement, and unequally compensated during employment.
Why are we talking about Reparations in 2020?
In 1619, 401 years ago, the first Africans held captive were led onto the land at Jamestown, Virginia. From there began the long and traumatic oppression and brutalization of Black bodies, spirits, and minds in America. Beginning with the land stolen by the first colonizers coupled with torture, murder and rape, to the current systematic oppression of their people, the Indigenous Americans in this country are owned an immense debt.
Reparations owed equals $51 Trillion.
On finances: Today, according to the Pew Research Center, Blacks are more than twice as likely as whites to live in poverty (based on 2014 US Census Report), the net worth of white US households is 13 times greater than that of Blacks households (27% of Blacks live under poverty line), and 54% of Black children under 18 live with a single parent.
On criminal justice: Laws, policies, and platforms evolve over the decades to continuously target and push people of color into the criminal justice system and keep them at or below the poverty line (Rikken, 2018). The targeted mass incarceration of Black and Brown bodies has resulted in many single parent households, systematic poverty, a mental health epidemic, and instances of death.
On mental health: Black people are: less likely to receive guidelines or consistent care, less frequently included in research, and more likely to use emergency rooms or primary care (rather than mental health specialists). (American Psychiatric Association)
We are 401 years from our interrupted history, but the state of our culture, wealth, minds, bodies and future has made slow progress over the centuries.
Where do we go from here?
The Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples history in America is a horrendous one but we look to the future with hope, positivity, and fearlessness as we do the work necessary in the present. We have had great leaders who through art, innovation, politics, and education have transformed our culture, communities, and country. We keep our stories of pain and triumph in our hearts, passing them along through music (Rap is our favorite), writings, and word of mouth. We pull ourselves out of oblivion and help others do the same. We educate and free ourselves, express ourselves, and strive to be the best version of ourselves. In the words of James Baldwin: “Our crown has already been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear it.”