The apparent inability of contemporary reparations scholars to reach consensus on prudential considerations such as structure and purpose undermines efforts to obtain reparations of any sort. The Author finds intriguing recent proposals that see black reparations claims not as litigation vehicles, but as broader invitations to re-energize discussions of racial equity via "rehabilitative"o r "inward looking" transformations that stress black institutional capacity building. This Article posits that the idea of "rehabilitative" or structural reparations continues to have both conceptual and pragmatic currency. However, successful implementation of this idea demands that scholars and activists reacquaint themselves with the meaning of structural reparations as that concept was generally understood during Reconstruction where it first gained favor.
Jeffery M. Brown, Deconstructing Babel: Toward a Theory of Structural Reparations, 56 Rutgers L. Rev. 463 (2004)