Joe Biden, President of the United States, is considering asking federal forms, including censuses, whether black Americans are descendants of slaves. This system is used in Brazil to carry out regional censuses.
The proposal seeks to find out how the US government monitors and documents species on US soil. Biden is asking the public for input on how it distinguishes blacks of slave descent in the U.S. from immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean or other countries.
An additional question is required if change advocates select “Black or African American” on a government form that indicates their ancestors were slaves.
In proposing these sweeping changes, the US government asked whether “American descendants of slaves” or “American freedmen” would be better terms to describe the group. Some have suggested the term “basic black Americans”.
The idea is supported by some black Americans who say society often confuses their experiences with black immigrants who have begun to move to the United States in significant numbers in recent decades.
If the government agrees to pay reparations for slavery, proponents say, one of their reasons is to calculate who is eligible to receive reparations.
According to studies by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and Duke University, black Americans whose ancestors were slaves lag behind in wealth and education compared to newcomers.
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