ABSTRACT In this article the author discusses the procedural hurdles erected by courts to limit litigation of Black reparations claims based on slavery. By examining the policy justifications that underlie the procedural doctrines, the author challenges the view that the current impasse in Black reparations litigation is a matter of doctrinal limits rather than a matter of social devaluation of the litigants. Basing his argument on a review of nineteenth-century restitution cases involving wrongful enslavement, the author posits that the continued refusal by courts to hear Black reparations claims on the merits reflects a millenarian process of subordination and social devaluation of people of African descent.

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