Black Vets Were Excluded From G.I. Bill Benefits. Congress Could Fix That.

The G.I. Bill of 1944 provided free education, unemployment pay and home loans for millions of veterans returning from fighting in World War II. These benefits helped to expand the American middle class after the war.

But many returning Black veterans were excluded because of segregation. And that exclusion helped widen the wealth gap between white and Black Americans.

A bill in Congress would repair some of that harm by paying reparations to the families of nearly one million Black veterans who served in World War II.

NPR’s Quil Lawrence spoke with the family of Bill Dabney, who fought in the little known Barrage Balloon Battalion, about what that money would mean to them.

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