Dr. Jovan Scott Lewis interviewed on his research and work on Reparations Task Force

March 1, 2023

Jovan Scott Lewis

"When we’re talking about reparations in California, we’re talking about reparations not for slavery itself, but for this system of governance around Black people, around African Americans, that slavery initiated. That slavery represents the kind of initial and formative philosophy, from Jim Crow straight through to mass incarceration and even gentrification today. This idea of being able to discriminate and dispossess African Americans as a form of policy — or if not policy, then acceptable practice, lingering to today."

Dr. Jovan Scott Lewis, Geography Department Chair and Associate Professor, was interviewed by Berkeley News on his ethnographic work in Jamaica and Tulsa and his thoughts on what California owes to African Americans in terms of money, policy, and other forms of reparations. As part of California’s Reparations Task Force, Jovan has heard testimonies from Black residents all around California about how government at all levels has kept them from succeeding as free citizens of the United States. Read the full interview here!

Congrats, Jovan!