Boston announces new names for its reparations task force

Boston, Massachusetts - Boston has named the members of research teams tasked with charting the city's legacy of white supremacy and helping to develop reparations proposals for Black residents.

The City of Boston has announced new teams of historians to help its reparations task force, formed in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.
The City of Boston has announced new teams of historians to help its reparations task force, formed in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.  © MADDIE MEYER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

Boston's reparations task force, established through a 2022 City Council ordinance, has announced new research teams that will assist the body's 10 appointed members in developing a blueprint to address past and present racial discrimination.

The first group of historians will focus on the years from 1620 to 1940. The second will examine the years from 1940 to today.

Members of the first group include:

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  • Dr. Kerri Greenidge, Mellon associate professor in Studies of Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora at Tufts University;
  • Dr. Kendra Field, director of the Study of Race and Democracy and associate professor of history at Tufts University; and
  • Kyera Singleton, executive director of the Royall House and Slave Quarters.

Members of the second group include:

  • Margaret Burnham, a Northeastern University distinguished law professor and founder of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project;
  • Dr. Deborah Jackson, managing director of Northeastern University's Center for Law, Equity, and Race;
  • Dr. Ted Landsmark, a Northeastern University distinguished professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs;
  • Donna Bivens, a community leader; and
  • Richard O’Bryant, director of Northeastern University's John D. O'Bryant African American Institute.

"I'm grateful to these teams of historians who will serve our city by documenting Boston's role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the myriad legacies of slavery that continue to impact the daily lives of our city's communities," Mayor Michelle Wu said in a statement.

"Through their scholarship and partnership with our task force, we will better understand the full picture of our city's history and look forward to their comprehensive report that will build on our ongoing efforts."

Cover photo: MADDIE MEYER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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