Two women holding hands during a reconciliation revival, part of an event to mark Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery, in Texas [Eric Miller/Reuters/Daylife]

When California state assemblywoman Shirley Weber introduced a bill last year to study reparations for Black Americans, she was worried people would not accept that racial inequality and injustice were still alive and well.

Instead, the bill came up for a vote two weeks after the death of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white police officer spurred a nationwide reckoning on that very topic. It passed the assembly on June 11 with a 56-5 vote.

“Maybe we’ll be a model for what can happen at the federal level,” Weber told the Thomson

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