NC county joins Asheville with vote supporting reparations for black residents

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A county in western North Carolina has joined the neighboring city of Asheville to apologize for its role in slavery and to take the rare step of supporting reparations for black residents.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that Buncombe County officials passed the measure Tuesday night along party lines, with Democrats being in favor.

Commissioner Amanda Edwards, who helped draft the resolution, said the proposal is unique to Buncombe County and its efforts toward creating a equitable and just community.

“Our communities of color that are most impacted by structural racism and inequities have asked for us to hear them and respond to their requests,” Edwards told our news partners WLOS.

Similar to the one passed in Asheville last month, the county’s resolution does not call for direct payments. It focuses instead on county efforts to prioritize racial equity.

Priorities include education gaps as well as disparities in the health care and justice systems.

Experts say that such resolutions are rare across the nation. The move recognizes centuries of injustices and working toward righting wrongs.