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Society & Culture

Uncounted Millions: Let's Get Free

podcast February 15, 2024


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The movement for reparations is gaining traction across the country, as cities and states debate what is owed to the descendants of the formerly enslaved. This question – what is owed? – has plagued America since the Civil War. But what Into America discovered is that through a strange legal loophole, a small number of Black people may have managed to get paid. In this series, “Uncounted Millions: The Power of Reparations,” Pulitzer- and Emmy-winning host Trymaine Lee follows the story of Gabriel Coakley, perhaps one of the only Black men in America to receive something akin to reparations. We look at the mark it left on his family for generations and ask: if more Black families had been given a lump sum of money 150 years ago, how might the inequities facing Black America look different today? And how might knowing this story change our current conversation on reparations in America? 

 

Episode 1 begins in Brooklyn with Coakley’s descendants. With them, we travel back to before the Civil War to learn about Gabriel Coakley’s fight for freedom and, eventually, restitution.In addition to Coakley descendants John, Adele, and Richard Flateau, Trymaine is joined by: author Dr. Chris Myers Asch, archivistsDr. Lopez Matthews and Ishamel Childs, and professor Dr. Kellie Carter Jackson.

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