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Slave Owner's Descendant Pays Reparations

Louisville nonprofit receives 6-figure check
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2021 1:23 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Louisville nonprofit that helps marginalized people has received a six-figure reparations check from the descendant of a slave-holder. "It is a blessing for us but also definitely owed," says Taylor Ryan, executive director of Change Today, Change Tomorrow. The donation was so unexpected that the organization first thought it was a scam, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. The donor, who asked to remain anonymous, came into money upon turning 25. The woman began investigating the source of the family wealth, per WHAS, and learned that her great-grandfather had enslaved six people in Bourbon County. She couldn't identify their descendants because her ancestor didn't record their names anywhere.

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"He inflicted the trauma and violence of slavery on six people for his own monetary gain and did not even bother to record their names," she wrote to the group. So she decided to give the money to the group to provide resources for Black residents. Change Today, Change Tomorrow will use 40% of the money for staff and 40% for community outreach, putting 20% in reserve. "I think that this is just the start," says Nannie Grace Croney, the two-year-old group's deputy director. The organization's leaders hope to build on the first check and "challenge other corporations, foundations and individuals to really pay reparations back," she said. (Read more reparations stories.)

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