By Polly Seaberry
Rev. Henry C. Williams is pointing the way to reparations as a partial economic solution for African Americans. He wants to reach churchgoers, students, families and media outlets to generate interest in a people’s movement and campaign to persuade Congress and the White House to redeem the promises it made to the freed slaves and their descendants.
“Now is the time for African Americans to receive money, gold and land to rebuild our communities and broken families,” said Williams.
In his presentations to churches, he teaches about the pledge contained in the Emancipation Proclamation, which promised 40 acres and a mule for every slave, and the Freedmen’s Bank, which Congress formed to receive their deposits and to make loans.
Williams often begins with the biblical text from Jeremiah 5:1 “Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.”
Rev. Williams says he is called a “Trailblazer for Justice” by other ministers because he wants Black people to take a stand for the money, land and gold owed to them by the government.
“We need restitution for the 400 years of slavery, abuse and broken promises,” Williams says.
“When Blacks search their ancestry and the Freedmen’s Bank records, they will find that our people deposited more than $57 million dollars after slavery from 1865 to 1868 and their deposits were then lent by Congress to white individuals who never paid it back,” said Williams.
“And those deposits are worth hundreds of billions of dollars after more than 150 years of accumulated compounded interest.”
Williams wants President Obama to fulfill President Lincoln’s proclamation.
William stated that some Native Americans received 3.9 Billion Dollars for 1 year of Reparation for the U.S. Soldiers killed them, took their land and destroyed a significant portion of their culture.
He also uses the biblical story of Zacchaeus, the wealthy tax collector, who told Jesus that he would repay the poor four times if he had cheated them, as a teaching tool to help make the case for the justification of a demand for Reparations.
When he preaches about his own family he talks about his Father Pleasant Williams, his Grandparents. His grandmother worked as a Nanny for The Confederate Army.
“Just as the Japanese Americans received reparations for their forced resettlement during WWII and the Alaskans were paid for the installation of the pipeline, African Americans must also be compensated,” said Williams. To contact Williams call (510) 507-3424 or email [email protected]