A rally outside the Minnesota capitol building on Juneteenth in 2020 to demand reparations from the United States government for years of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, redlining, and violence against Black people from police.

A rally outside the Minnesota capitol building on Juneteenth in 2020 to demand reparations from the United States government for years of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, redlining, and violence against Black people from police.

How can a country built on the backs of enslaved people compensate for past wrongs? That is the question at the heart of Andrew Delbanco’s upcoming Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities.

Each year the National Endowment for the Humanities selects a scholar to give an address, an act the NEH calls “the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.”

This year, on the program’s 50th anniversary, Delbanco, a professor of American Studies at Columbia University, will explore “The Question of Reparations: Our Past, Our Present, Our Future.”

He traces the history of the debate about reparations that began before the Civil War and stretches to today, and tells Diane he hopes understanding our history can help inform the country’s choices about its future.

Guests

  • Andrew Delbanco The Alexander Hamilton Professor of American Studies, Columbia University and author of "The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War"

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