OK this seems to be a hot topic since the Danes are through the city gates and threatening to burn more of the town if they aren't paid off. Keeping Kiplings thoughts on this topic in mind, let's see if there isn't some way to figure out who is owed and how much.
Between 200 and 400 years ago, some black people were rounded up by their fellow black people, and sold to some white people who took some of them to the British colonies or the recently formed United States, and resold them. There they labored up until 1865 for room and board and minimal healthcare provided by their owners. After this they were freed to do with their lives whatever they wished. 150 years later, lets see how they are doing compared to their former countrymen who avoided their evil fate.
I looked up some statistics, and keeping in mind that such numbers may not be entirely accurate, let's use them anyway as no others are available. First off how well are the Africans who avoided slavery by selling their cousins doing: I picked 2 countries, Ghana and Nigeria to represent Africa. Good picks? Who knows. Feel free to look up others. Most American slaves came from the West Coast of Africa, and there are a lot of small countries along that coast.
Current average income per household in Ghana is listed as $7442 USD/yr. Current average household income in Nigeria is listed as $15,746. I suppose it's higher there because of the larger proportion of royal princes in the general population. I could be wrong. Sue me.
The average black family in the U.S. is earning some $67,426 USD/yr. This is lower than the U.S. Average by a bit, but that's the published number.
This implies that at worst the former Africans are on average bringing home between $51,680 and $59,984/year MORE than they would be making had their ancestors never been enslaved. Put another way, the average black American is bringing home between 4.28 and 9.06 times as much as he could have been making “back home”.
Was the long strange trip easy? No! Life's like that. Easy for some and harder for most of the rest of us. The methodology has been published and re published, Simply follow the directions, and Voila! Cake! At this point it might be fair to ask how much of a gratuity the rest of us should be asking from these fortunate few for their 400-900% pay raises.