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The Nickson View II Book Review

Phyllis Rhodes

In his book, The Nickson View II, Victor Nickson rises to the challenge and jumps headstrong into the controversial reparations debate.  He tackles the "Horowitz-10," which is a term that refers to the 2001 publication of Horowitz's 10 Anti-Reparations points which can be summarized into four principles concerning racial generalizations, divisiveness, gratitude, and victimization. Nickson meticulously addresses each point and highlights flaws within the Horowitz argument.

For example, the author dispels Horowitz's claim that "There Is No One Group That Benefited Exclusively from [Slavery's][sic] Fruits" and implies that blacks were the primary beneficiaries of slavery. Nickson uses census records from several decades to demonstrate the consistent gap in salaries, home ownership, education, and other indicators of wealth.  He also uses sources to speculate the wealth those black Americans would have created if they had been free from slavery when they came to the United States, and hints at the global devastating impact that the slave trade had on Africa.

Another example is Horowitz's assertion that implies "The Historical Precedents Used to Justify the Reparations Claim Do Not Apply, and the Claim Itself Is Based on Race Not Injury."   Nickson points out that although slavery legally ended in 1863 with the Emancipation Proclamation, Jim Crow laws and de facto segregation did not end until the 1970s. He maintains that all blacks living today either experienced segregation, or are the children of people whom segregation directly affected.  Nickson cites the pattern of housing, the discrimination in employment, the resistance to equal opportunity in education, the racial profiling, the inequities in the administration of justice, and the widespread opposition to affirmative action as indicators that historical precedence does and should apply as injury has been done.

Nickson provides compelling arguments in great detail for each of Horowitz's points and constructs his counterpoints with care, facts, and compassion. Of course, some will not agree with the author's justifications and conclusions, but one cannot argue that Nickson's work is well researched, properly documented, and presented reasonably well.  He uses a variety of sources to substantiate his cases, including the Bible, to parallel the plight of the ancient Hebrews to the African Diaspora.  Although small in size, this book is not lightweight.  It is an excellent resource for the intellectuals, the scholars, social scientists, or anyone interested in the reparations debate.

The Nubian Circle Book Club rating for The Nickson View II is 4 out of 5 stars. We welcome your comments and thoughts about this book review.  Please e-mail us at: