Washington DC – After decades of efforts from racial justice advocates, Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has issued an official proclamation declaring February 25, 2023, Reparations Awareness Day.
Though it may be one of the first officially recognized Reparations Awareness Days, activists note that the occasion is by no means a new one.
The initiative grew out of efforts of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) to boost public support for reparations during Black History Month starting in the early 1990s.
The date is of particular significance, as it was the day that a group of Black Alabama State College students staged a historic sit-in at the Montgomery County Courthouse’s whites-only lunch counter in 1960.
“In the early days, some promoted it as ‘Reparations Awareness and Action Day,’ making it clear that it is not a ‘holiday’ but a day to be active building the movement,” according to the N’COBRA Philadelphia Chapter website.
“All N’COBRA’s chapters and members were encouraged to do work to raise the awareness of the movement, especially in the Black community across the country.”