In a much-discussed new article in The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates makes a compelling case for reparations. The whole article is worth reading, but we took note of a specific passage about one Coates characters, Clyde Ross. Ross, who later became a housing activist in Chicago, was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi and yearned to attend his local Rosenwald School as a child:
Clyde Ross was a smart child. His teacher thought he should attend a more challenging school. There was very little support for educating black people in Mississippi. But Julius Rosenwald, a part owner of Sears, Roebuck, had begun an ambitious effort to build schools for black children throughout the South. Ross’s teacher believed he should attend the local Rosenwald school. It was too far for Ross to walk and get back in time to work in the fields. Local white children had a school bus. Clyde Ross did not, and thus lost the chance to better his education.