There are differing opinions about this and both sides appear to have reasonable arguments. My great great great grandmother Somerville Staples was a slave of a prominent Virginia doctor. Her son John Wesley Staples was born on July 4th (of all days) in 1865 (of all years) and was the first free born child of the Staples family who was also one of the few of his contemporaries who could read and write. John Wesley owned a farm which he protected with shotguns and pistols. They even brough guns to the dinner tqble that's how bad the racism was in Virginia at that time. Because they wer not allowed to send their children to school John Wesly and his wife Eliza got together with their neighbors to form their own school. When he died in 1940 John Wesley left a literate family, $40,000 in cash and a thriving farm. This inheritance was a small fortune that even his great grandson Brent Staples benefited from. Now the question, Obviously the Staples family did better than even some whites. As a result some people say since the slavery of Somerville did not prevent John Wesley from succeeding it cannot be shown in a court of law that slavery qualifies her descendants to receive damages since there were no apparent damages. Is this a valid argument? It seems to have an effect on some of us as well. It seems that some of us avoid avenues to success for fear this will somehow let the white man off the hook and disqualigy us from receiving justice. If I steal a billion dollars from a bank and the bank does not fail but instead is able to precure five billion dollars does that mean I can keep my billion and not go to jail? Should the bank file for bankruptcy toprove I damaged it?