84 B.U. L. Rev. 1375 (2004)
Corrective Justice, Equal Opportunity, and the Legacy of Slavery and Jim Crow

handle is hein.journals/bulr84 and id is 1387 raw text is: CORRECTIVE JUSTICE, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, AND
THE LEGACY OF SLAVERY AND JIM CROW
DAVID LYONS*
IN TROD U CTION  .............................................................................................  1375
I. COMPENSATION, RESTITUTION, AND CORRECTIVE JUSTICE ............. 1378
A .  The  M oral D ebt M odel .............................................................. 1379
B.   The Material Disadvantage Model ............................................ 1381
C.   The  Unjust Enrichment M odel ................................................... 1382
D .  The  Institution  M odel ................................................................ 1384
II. THE ROLE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ...................................... 1385
A .  The  Eighteenth  Century  ............................................................. 1386
B.   The  N ineteenth  Century  ............................................................. 1388
C.   The  Twentieth  Century  .............................................................. 1389
III.  W HAT  IS TO  BE  DONE? ..................................................................... 1397
A.   The  M aterial Component ........................................................... 1400
B.   The  M oral Component ............................................................... 1402
INTRODUCTION1
Chattel slavery was a brutally cruel, repressive, and exploitative system of
racial subjugation.2 When it was abolished, the former slaveholders owed the
freedmen compensation for the terrible wrongs of enslavement.3 Ex-slaves
sought reparations, especially in the form of land, but few received any sort of
recompense.4 The wrongs they suffered were never repaired.
* Professor of Law, Law Alumni Scholar, and Professor of Philosophy, Boston
University.
I This paper is a sequel to David Lyons, Unfinished Business: Racial Junctures in U.S.
History and Their Legacy, in JUSTICE IN TIME: RESPONDING TO HISTORICAL INJUSTICE 271
(Lukas H. Meyer ed., 2004) [hereinafter Unfinished Business]. It develops ideas that were
sketched briefly in the last section of that paper, id. at 294-97, as well as in David Lyons,
Reparations and Equal Opportunity, 24 B.C. THIRD WORLD L.J. 177, 184-85 (2004)
[hereinafter Reparations and Equal Opportunity]. I am grateful for comments on earlier
versions of the current paper by many persons at Boston University, UCLA, and Boston
College and for research assistance by Kathleen O'Malley and John B. Koss.
2 See Reparations and Equal Opportunity, supra note 1, at 181 (describing the
development of chattel slavery into a racist system that did not apply to white servants).
3Id.
4 ERIC FONER, RECONSTRUCTION: AMERICA'S UNFINISHED REVOLUTION 1863-1877, at 51-
54, 70-71 (1988) (recounting the government's broken promise to provide black families
with forty acres of land and assist[ance] . . . with the loan of mules).
1375

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