How much reparations are African American residents owed?

The California Reparations Task Force recommends the state consider “down payments” to eligible African American residents, although the task force has not indicated how much it will recommend to the Legislature as an overall price tag for reparations. It did identify ways to calculate how much African Americans in California have lost due to systemic racism in the state. This calculator uses criteria from the task force to determine the cost for an individual African American in California.

Input years of residency.

Category
Amount
Health Harms

1850–2020

Derived from the difference in life expectancy between Black and White residents in California, 7.6 years in 2021.

$13,619 70 years $953,330
Mass Incarceration & Over-policing

1971-2020

Derived from average salary for a state employee because incarcerated individuals were forced to provide unpaid labor for the state, plus loss of freedom compensation comparable to reparation payments for Japanese Americans incarcerated in World War II. The timeframe corresponds to the national War on Drugs.

$2,352 49 years $115,248
Housing Discrimination

1933-2020

Derived from homeownership wealth gap from state-facilitated discriminatory redlining. The task force also provided an alternative calculation that considers unfair zoning and home lending practices.

$3,366 70 years $235,620
Devaluation of Businesses

1850–2020

Estimated from missing Black business establishments and average business sale values.

$77,000 1 person $77,000
Unjust Property Takings

1850–2020

The task force highlighted several instances of eminent domain and unjust taking.

The task force said the state had not yet gathered enough data to provide a specific calculation.

Potential owed amount
$1,381,198

*Note: Updated May 10, 2023 after clarification from the task force. The task force voted to recommend the state cap losses to those experienced up to 2020 when the task force was established.

Source: California Reparations Task Force

Interactive: Erica Yee