J.P. Morgan Chase & Company’s recent apology for ties to slavery and a corresponding $5 million scholarship program it set up for black students was a “step in the right direction for a tainted corporation,” but the nation’s no. 2 bank has a long way to go before it has fully paid its debt to African Americans, said one of the slave-reparations movement’s central figures, Deadria Farmer-Paellmann.
J.P. Morgan Chase filed a disclosure statement with the city of Chicago on January 20 acknowledging that between 1831 and 1865, two of J.P. Morgan Chase’s predecessor banks – Citizens Bank and Canal Bank in Louisiana – accepted approximately 13,000 slaves as collateral for loans and ended up owning approximately 1,250 of them as a result of defaults.
The company apologized on its Web site and to employees and said it will provide $5 million over five years for full tuition for African American undergraduates from Louisiana to attend college in their home state.
The scholarship is believed to be the first time an American company has paid reparations for slavery.
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