This past June, the U.S. Congress opened a hearing to consider a bill that would create a commission to explore options for reparations for the descendants of enslaved people. Central to this conversation is the question of what is owed to African Americans, and what reparations would look like.
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Since the turn of the century, more than 20,000 Black D.C. residents had been displaced, a March study from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition found. The District leads several U.S. cities in this arena because housing values have outpaced the median incomes. In 2009, amid a recession, the District experienced more than 4,000 foreclosures. Several hundred people since then have also filed for bankruptcy.