Minneapolis Group Plans Bike Ride for Reparations
The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based non-profit Ride 4 Reparations has announced its planned annual ride for Saturday, August 21st. "We have set the date and are increasingly confident we will be able to conduct the ride this year post-pandemic," says Hal Huggins, the group’s president.
The organization was formed with the intent of organizing a massive bike ride to allow people to participate in a visible and active manner while raising funds for a variety of organization’s active in building the capabilities of black citizens such as the United Negro College Fund, the NAACP, Urban League, and others.
There are a lot of bicyclists in the Twin Cities and numerous biking events. “We thought we would create one to take advantage of that fact and to use the event to share information about the debt owed to the progeny of America’s slaves," said Earl Netwal one of the organization's board members.
Ride4Reparations was formed in December of 2019 with the goal of educating both black and non-black citizens about the huge and unpaid contributions slaves provided to the economy of the United States up to and through the American Civil War.
A significant portion of the wealth that was generated during the nation's first century was accumulated on the backs of slaves, who did not only did not benefit from their labor but were additionally systematically denied basic education and other opportunities to accumulate income much less wealth.
Since the non-profits founding two major events have disrupted the local community: Covid and the murder of George Floyd.
Covid made the concept of a mass bike ride problematic, and while a few very small rides were held in 2020, and again already in the current year, there was no reasonable way to conduct anything near the scale envisioned in 2020.
The second event, the murder of George Floyd swept through not only the local Minneapolis community but the nation and world as well. The aftermath has dramatically changed the conversation and has set the stage for a far more receptive community response. What was once often thought to be unsupported claims of Police bias and misconduct was clearly revealed as real and undeniable. A fact that was well known in the black community but came clearly into focus for many white residents for the first time.
“We have their attention now,” Hal continues. “Now we hope to also get their active participation in a ride to show not only their support for the cause of equal justice but also a recognition of the depth of debt owed to American’s black community.”
It will be a busy few months for the organization as it finalizes its plans and publicizes the event. But now that a date has been set, the deadline has focused board members and an active “brain trust” to move things forward.
For more information about Ride4Reparations, contact the company here: