Eyes on 2020An in-depth look at the candidates vying for the highest office in the land in 2020.

Presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) told The Root in an exclusive, hour-long interview at his home in Newark, N.J., that he unequivocally supports reparations for black people and that he is introducing a Senate version of the House bill on Monday that will form a commission to study reparations.

Booker’s bill, Commission To Study and Develop Reparation Proposals For African Americans Act, will be filed in the Senate later this week as a companion to HR40, which was introduced earlier this year by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas).

In a statement to The Root, Booker said, “Since slavery in this country, we have had overt policies fueled by white supremacy and racism that have oppressed African Americans economically for generations” and added that his bill is a “way of addressing head-on the persistence of racism, white supremacy and implicit racial bias in our country. It will bring together the best minds to study the issue and propose solutions that will finally begin to right the economic scales of past harms and make sure we are a country where all dignity and humanity is affirmed.”

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Booker told The Root that while he supports reparations for black people, he believes he must provide other alternatives that will empower black people immediately, citing at length his baby bonds proposal. He also expressed frustration over how candidates use the reparations question as a checkbox while talking to black audiences without citing additional policies that will help black communities.

Watch a clip from our interview with Booker about reparations above. The full interview will be posted later this week.

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Terrell Jermaine Starr

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior reporter at The Root. He is currently writing a book proposal that analyzes US-Russia relations from a black perspective.

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Ashley Velez

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