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N.C. city approves reparations for Black residents through community investment

Pedestrians and traffic weave past the Art Deco buildings in downtown Asheville, N.C., Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2002.
Pedestrians and traffic weave past the Art Deco buildings in downtown Asheville, N.C., Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2002.(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 6:31 PM EDT
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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (Gray News) - Council members in a North Carolina city voted Tuesday night to approve reparations for its Black citizens.

The Asheville City Council apologized for the city’s role in slavery, discrimination and denial of basic liberties in a unanimous vote, reports the Citizen-Times.

“It is simply not enough to remove statutes. Black people in this country are dealing with issues that are systemic in nature,” Councilman Keith Young told the newspaper.

The resolution doesn’t mandate direct payments, but will make investments in areas where Black citizens face disparities, such as increasing minority home ownership, closing gaps in health care, education, employment and pay, and neighborhood safety.

The resolution also creates a committee to recommend programs and resources.

The city council also voted at Tuesday night’s meeting to approve a Black Lives Matter mural in downtown Asheville and voted to select an outside firm to investigate the police department’s actions during recent protests.

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