The Times podcast: California tries to figure out reparations

A billboard that says, "You are entering the reparations framework."
A billboard urging drivers to consider reparations for the Black American descendants of enslaved Africans, installed by New York artist Xaviera Simmons during the Desert X biennial in Palm Springs in 2019.
(Tyrone Beason / Los Angeles Times)

Two brothers near Sacramento are fighting for compensation for the land they say was taken from their formerly enslaved ancestors during the Gold Rush. Their story got pulled into an even bigger debate happening right now in California. A first-of-its-kind task force is trying to decide: Will the state pay reparations to Black people? And if so, who should get it?

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times columnist Erika D. Smith

More reading:


Column: They say California stole their ancestors’ land. But do they qualify for reparations?

Column: It’s a guaranteed income program, but think of it as a test case for reparations

California created the nation’s first state reparations task force. Now comes the hard part

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producers Denise Guerra, Shannon Lin and Kasia Broussalian and producers Ashlea Brown and Angel Carreras. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmín Aguilera and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.