The passage of the first-ever tax-funded reparations bill for Black Americans stirs up a debate.

A rookie alderwoman from Evanston, Illinois, led the passage of the first tax-funded reparations for Black Americans. While she and her community struggle with the burden to make restitution for its citizens, a national racial crisis engulfs the country. Will the debt ever be addressed, or is it too late for this reparations movement to finally get the big payback?

The Big Payback follows the fight of alderman Robin Rue Simmons as she leads the community in an uphill battle to obtain reparations. Meanwhile, in Washington DC, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee continues the fight to pass HR 40: a national bill to examine the merits of introducing reparations for slavery to African Americans.

Together, they pressure the government to deliver monetary justice and appropriate remedies for Black Americans harmed by centuries of chattel slavery, state-sponsored terrorism, systemic injustice, and corporate exploitation.

The devastating legacy of the Transatlantic Slave Trade can still be seen and felt in almost every aspect of American life. Over 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, the Black community still bears the burdens of state-sanctioned racial discrimination.

The Big Payback was directed by social justice filmmakers, Erika Alexander (Living Single, Get Out, Run The World) and Whitney Dow (Two Towns of Jasper, I Sit Where I Want, The Whiteness Project).

For more details, and to watch the film, go to www.pbs.org/independentlens/documentaries/the-big-payback. For discussion tools and other resources, please visit www.bigpaybackmovie.com.

Reparations: The Big Payback Podcast

Erika Alexander, a black woman, and Whitney Dow, a white man, use their unique storytelling skills and experiences to explore the argument for and against reparations for Black Americans.

Are reparations warranted and, if so, why? What would be the outcome and consequence of paying reparations? What is the “wound” of slavery and how will it be healed? Who qualifies for reparations and who qualifies as Black? What form would reparations take? How could reparations potentially damage Black and white Americans? Could it make an already fraught racial relationship worse?

The podcast investigates the underlying, racist architecture of modern businesses, laws, policies and institutions that have their roots in slavery. The hosts show how money earned during slavery still multiplies today.

If the enslaved ancestors of African Americans built America for free, will America ever be able to pay the debt for this sacrifice? Listen to the immersive, narrative podcast, created in 2021, at bigpaybackpodcast.com.