Black Boston Pastor Brings ‘White Churches’ Into the Reparations Conversation. Is He Right?

 Via ( By Jessica Washington | Boston has unexpectedly become a hotbed for national conversation centered on reparations. But now, some Black pastors are asking “white churches” in Boston to enter the conversation and atone for their role in the slave trade.

At a press conference in Resurrection Lutheran Church in Roxbury, Rev. Kevin Peterson urged “white churches” to “commit to reparations.”

“We call sincerely and with a heart filled with faith and Christian love for our white churches to join us and not be silent around this issue of racism and slavery and commit to reparations,” said Rev. Peterson, who runs the Boston People’s Reparations Commission.

Rev. Peterson noted the complicity of some white churches in the slave trade. According to a report from the Boston Globe, clergy at King’s Chapel church in Boston enslaved at least 219 people over the years.

“We point to them in Christian love to publicly atone for the sins of slavery,” said Rev. Peterson. “And we ask them to publicly commit to a process of reparations where they will extend their great wealth, tens of millions of dollars among some of those churches — into the Black community.”

Sixteen clergy members signed a letter calling for reparations from the churches involved in the slave trade in the form of cash payments, creating affordable housing, and other financial acts of restitution.

This is hardly the beginning of the reparations conversation in Boston. In 2022, the City Council established The Task Force on Reparations after the city issued a formal apology for its role in the slave trade. Boston continues to have one of the biggest racial wealth gaps in the nation — which many have argued is a part of the legacy of slavery and racially discriminatory policies.

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