slave reparations

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg got a really big boost to his campaign recently, announcing a staggering $24.8 million fundraising haul over the past three months.

But that hasn't changed one of the toughest realities his candidacy faces: support among black voters that barely registers in the polls.

For the first time in a decade Congress will hold a hearing Wednesday on the subject of reparations for the descendants of slaves in the United States, a topic that has gained traction in the run-up to the 2020 elections.

The hearing is set for June 19, also known as "Juneteenth," the day when in 1865 former enslaved people in Texas first learned that they had been emancipated two years earlier.

Several Democratic candidates have been quick to embrace reparations recently. Bernie Sanders is more cautious.

At a CNN town hall on Monday, a woman asked Sanders about his view on reparations, and at first he talked about trying to "put resources into distressed communities and improve lives for those people who have been hurt from the legacy of slavery."

secretariat.thecommonwealth.org

Christmas 2013 was the best and worst of times for Ralph Gonsalves.

Gonsalves, Prime Minister of the Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Dec. 19. For Gonsalves, an outspoken populist who was about to take over as chairman of the Caribbean Community, or Caricom, it was a moment of valuable political cachet: Francis has proven a champion of poor global underdogs like the small republics of the Caribbean.