Six questions about slavery reparations, answered

Updated 7:11 AM ET, Sat August 15, 2020

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(CNN)If you feel like you're hearing more about slavery reparations, it's not your imagination.

The widespread protests against police brutality and racial injustice following the death of George Floyd have brought a new urgency to the debate around compensating the descendants of American slaves.
This summer, Democratic lawmakers called for a vote on a bill to study reparations, and a handful of cities and states have weighed in with their own proposed plans to examine the issue.
But just how would reparations, focused specifically on slavery, work? Read on for background on this complex and thorny subject.

Why are reparations in the news?

The idea of giving Black people reparations for slavery dates back to right after the end of the Civil War (think 40 acres and a mule). For decades, it's mostly been an idea debated outside the mainstream of American political thought.