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Cost of Inheritance

Full Documentary

The Cost of Inheritance on PBS

The Cost of Inheritance is presented by WQED and the WGBH World Channel series America Reframed. Building on key issues of diversity and democracy; slavery and its aftermath; and socio-economic indicators, this documentary puts real people and their family histories into the reparations debate. Personal stories, expert interviews and rich archival materials underscored by evocative music, weaves a narrative around the issue of reparations today so many years after the historical understanding of the end of slavery in America. Noted speakers address the cumulative impact that Reconstruction, Black Laws, Jim Crow, modern day violence, and discrimination added to divergent wealth trajectories and opportunities firmly rooted in the system of enslavement. Individuals seeking to bridge our human divide share their reparations quests and we begin to understand the myriad of initiatives already happening across the country on local, state & national levels to make reparations a reality.

The documentary is a co-production by WQED & the Center for Social Solutions (CSS) at the University of Michigan; Executive Producer: Darryl Ford Williams; Director: Yoruba Richen.

Video Extras

More reparations stories produced by WQED.

Meet the Director


Ties to the Land

The Political Fight

Native Americans and the Boarding School Era

Germany and Reparations

Slavery Built America

The Aftermath of Slavery


Japanese Americans and the Internment Camps

Working To Pass HR 40