SLAVERY ERA DISCLOSURE LAWS
On March 9, 2000, Bill Rigby of Reuters News broke the story. Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, a 34-year-old lawyer and activist was single-handedly petitioning several U.S. corporations to apologize for their involvement in slavery.
Aetna Inc. was her first target. They wrote life insurance policies on the lives of enslaved Africans. Slave owners were the beneficiaries. The practice made buying captive Africans a safe investment. Deadria demanded that they disgorge their profits from the policies — pay restitution into a Trust Fund to benefit descendants of enslaved Africans.
To aid in Deadria’s quest for justice, California Senator Tom Hayden began drafting a bill that required insurance companies to disclose their slavery past. The law passed by October of 2000. Since then, over 13 disclosure laws have passed around the United States.
These laws have morphed into international legislation with the United Kingdom passing an Anti-Slavery Disclosure Law requiring companies of a certain size to reveal their modern anti-slavery efforts. The United States is considering similar legislation to fight modern slavery too.
Some cities, like San Francisco, provide penalties for noncompliance and for fraud in reporting. Further, some request that complicit vendors contribute to a reparations Trust Fund.
“CHAPTER 12Y: SAN FRANCISCO SLAVERY DISCLOSURE ORDINANCE*” – Read More
“Chapter 9.60 – SLAVERY ERA DISCLOSURE | Code of Ordinances | Oakland, CA | Municode Library” Read More.
“SLAVERY ERA INSURANCE REGISTRY LAWS” Connecticut – Read More.
Other States/Municipalities with Slavery Era Disclosure laws include:
The year 2021 saw much progress in reparations legislation with passage of 2 bills that require municipalities to actually pay reparations.
“North Carolina city commits $2.1M for reparations” – Read More.
“Evanston is the first U.S. city to issue slavery reparations. Experts say it’s a noble start.” – Read More.
A bill that will require the federal government to create a commission to study the impact of slavery on descendants of enslaved Africans and create reparations proposals is making its way through Congress as of 2021.
“H.R.40 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress” – Read More.
Article by Virginia Groark for New York Times