I think a survivor's benefit should be paid to the heirs of slaves, probably equal to the benefit that's paid to families of soldiers who die in combat. Note that this doesn't mean everyone with African-American DNA gets an equal paycheck. It means that a settlement is paid *per individual slave*, and is distributed among that persons heirs' according to standard legal formula.
To things to note that most people don't quite understand:
1. There were far fewer slaves brought to the U.S. than most people think, fewer than 400,000 actually. (See http://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-american…
) There were also, of course, those born into slavery whose heirs would also qualify for the survivors' benefit. But overall, we are talking about a number that's a lot smaller than most people imagine.
2. The time periods involved are not as great as we like to think. Americans usually comfortably imagine slavery as something that's lost to the mists of history. How could we possibly pay recompense for these people's lives when it all happened *so very long ago*? But in fact, you only have to go a couple generations back to identify people born into slavery. We are not talking about data that you need archaeologists to reconstruct. The historical record is there.
Yes, identifying the slaves and tracing their heirs would be a challenge, but it is by no means an *impossible* challenge. It would be a big information-management project, all right, mayyyybe comparable to Obamacare (but actually probably not that hard).
It is doable. And we *should* do it.