Appalled by Tuesday night’s presidential debate, California Governor, Gavin Newsom, signed Assembly Bill 3121 into law the very next day.
Assembly Bill 3121 makes California the first state to open the door to possible reparations for slavery. The bill does not state a specific payout to Black Californians who are descendants of slaves, nor does it say how it will be paid out. What it does do, however, it creates a task force that will study reparations and make recommendations for how reparations could happen “whether through compensation or restitution.”
“Advancing this cause where it’s not just a question on a questionnaire for a candidate running for office but actually taking shape here, that’s a meaningful moment,” Newsom said Wednesday. “This conversation is so long overdue.”
The task force will consist of five people appointed by Newsom, and 4 people chosen by the California legislature. Among the people on the Zoom call where Newsom signed the legislature, were members of California’s Black Caucus, the Chicano Caucus, and also Ice Cube.
Cube was singled out by San Diego Assemblywoman, and bill sponsor, Shirley Weber and was called “one of our real champions.” He also got a “thank you” from Newsom.
Many people do not think slavery existed in California, but that is not true. According to California’s Historical Society, during the California Gold Rush of 1848, many slave owners traveled west with their slaves and forced them to work in gold mines, and would hire them out to do a variety of labor.