By Vaiva Utaraite
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The San Francisco NAACP last week urged the SF Board of Supervisors to reject a one-time $5 million reparation payment to African Americans from the city of San Francisco.
Instead, the NAACP said the city should “make investments in five key areas to atone for a history of racism, discrimination and mistreatment.”
These five key areas include “education, jobs, housing, healthcare and a cultural center for Blacks in San Francisco,” said NAACP’s Rev. Amos Brown.
Brown urged the need for remedial programs in schools, given that “Black students don’t perform as well as their peers.”
Brown said the city “has fallen from 16 percent Black population to less than 5 percent,” indicating that discrimination and the “urban renewal” programs in the 60s and 70s were the main driving force behind this, adding, “there should be preferential treatment for Blacks to keep [them] in this city,” which involves providing more public and affordable housing options.
According to Brown, “Blacks don’t have the same lifespan as the majority population,” citing the need for programs that “positively impact [their] health, longevity, and mental health.”
“Just as there is a Japantown, a Chinatown, [African Americans] need a Black center of town,” stated Brown.
This action can be accomplished by “preserving and protecting the Fillmore Heritage Center and the surrounding blacks not only as a historic center of [the] people, but as a place to gather and grow the Black community for future generations,” said Brown.
“We strongly believe that creating and funding programs that can improve the lives of those who have been impacted by racism and discrimination is the best path forward toward equality and justice,” said Rev. Brown.