THIS DAY IN HISTORY April 16, 1862: Compensated Emancipation Act


Celebration of abolition in Washington, D.C. in April 19, 1866. Source: Library of Congress

On April 16, 1862, the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act became law.

Pause for a minute to consider how much compensation would have been offered to the people who suffered torture and other human rights abuses and whose labor and families were stolen for generations. The answer is zero.

The federal government compensated the “owners” of enslaved people for their “loss of property.” The people who were freed were not compensated, nor given any assistance for the transition to their new found freedom.

Emancipation Day is a city holiday in Washington, D.C.

#TeachReconstruction #Reparations

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