In Portland, Ore., organizers of the “Reparations Happy Hour” invited black, brown and indigenous people to a bar and handed them $10 bills as they arrived, a small but symbolic gift mostly funded by white people who were asked not to attend.
Brown Hope, a local activist organization, wanted the event, which was held on Monday, to be a space for people of color in a mostly white city to meet one another, discuss policy issues and plan potential action.
While it was far from the full-scale reparations sought by some as penance for the horrors of slavery and continuing racial injustice, Cameron Whitten, the 27-year-old activist who organized the event, said there was one similarity: It made attendees feel as if their pain were valued and understood.
“It was only $10, but when I saw them I saw their eyes light up,” he said. “What I saw there was that people felt like they were finally seen.”