Mounting the Challenges and Claiming the Victory
By Adjoa A. Aiyetoro

The Reparations Movement is like a train. The train left the station during slavery with the enslaved demanding some recompense for their, and their ancestors, forced free labor. That labor was in conditions which sought to strip them of their basic human dignity: their languages, their right to have and maintain families, their right to be free of State terror. In the 1860s it, the train, picked up those demanding passage of legislation to codify General Sherman's field Order 15 making 40 acres of federal land available to previously enslaved Africans.

In the 1890s and early 1900s, the train stopped in Nashville, TN, and had to add new cars to to pick up Callie House and Rev. Isaiah Dickerson and the organization they led, The National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief Bounty and Pension Association. They sought pensions for previously enslaved Africans, and at one time the organization counted 600,000 members. This Ex-Slave Association was de-stabilized from within and without, and its ultimate demise came when the leadership was accused and convicted of mail fraud -- a charge that was borne of racism and a desire of the U.S. government to destroy the organization, although it was merely seeking some semblance of justice for the previously enslaved.

The train, however, was not derailed by this obstacle. Its speed was slowed and its passengers and workers decreased. Yet it kept moving forward.

Marcus Garvey got on the train. The Universal Negro Improvement Association/African Communities League galvanized hundreds of thousands demanding reparations and repatriation, driven by self-help. As with Callie House's organization before Garvey, the UNIA was destabilized when the U.S. government framed Garvey on charges of having received a donation through the mail and not having provided the promised response. Still, this act of de-stabilization -- like the one before it -- did not derail the train. Rather, it decreased its fuel, its workers and passengers, slowing the train's progress and delaying the time of arrival.

As the train continued to chug along, doggedly heading for its final destination, it was joined by, among others, Queen Mother Moore, the Nation of Islam, the Republic of New Africa, the Lost Found Nation of Islam, the Black Reparations Commission, the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the New Afrikan People's Organization, ANRO, and others. Other groups and any number of individuals began to get on the train at various stations. The train was filled with people embracing various perspectives on reparations. Their ticket for the train ride was their determination to see reparations won and their willingness not simply to be passengers but, rather, to become the workers and fuel for the progress of the train.

With the formation of N'COBRA in 1988, a consolidated set of cars was created. The cars served to embrace all the different views about reparations and to be open to passengers who here-to-before had been outside the Reparations Movement. These were "mainstream Americans," integrationists, leftists and, even, the politically conservative. N'COBRA charged itself with opening up the passenger/worker/supplier list to everyone -- encouraging, particularly, African-descended people from all backgrounds to see the importance of getting the train to its final destination with all deliberate speed.

So, under the leadership of N'COBRA the train picked up more cars to accommodate additional passengers/worker/suppliers. N'COBRA brought on board organizations and people from Delta Sigma Theta, NAACP, the National Bar Association, Sigma Gamma Rho, and others. In 1988 it joined forces with Congressman John Conyers from Michigan, reviewing his proposed legislation for a Reparations Study bill, and joined in support of this legislation, formally introduced for the first time in 1989. Through its various chapters, N'COBRA got state and local legislatures to pass resolutions to support Conyers' bill, submitted each Congressional session in the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, usually designated H.R. 40. The varied resolutions usually cited the work of N'COBRA. The coalition developed legislative, litigative, direct action, and economic development strategies to fuel the train and increase the speed with which it was moving to its destination -- reparations.

With the increase in reparations activity, the train went from one that traveled the back rails to one that was in the main thoroughfares. The Florida legislature voted to give reparations to the victims of state-sanctioned race violence in Rosewood, which occurred in 1923. A reparations commission was formed by the legislature in Oklahoma to look at the destruction of what was popularly known as "Black Wall Street" but ultimately failed to vote any reparations. The film Rosewood was released. Another film, Amistad, followed on its heels.

Then the year 2000 hit with a bang. Randall Robinson's book, The Debt, was released in January. Deadria Farmer Paellman's research, showing the linkage of Aetna Insurance Company to slavery was reported in the mainstream press. The train is moving fast now, yet at every stop it is picking up more and more passengers.

Many who have been on the train for a while start feeling crowded. Some who just got on the train want to ignore those who have been traveling for a long time. There is a certain excitement, a buzz going through the train that has a feel of anticipation as well as possessiveness. The train is moving and everyone wants to own it -- wants to claim that it is their fuel, their ticket, their effort that is responsible for the train's momentum. The crowds outside the train clamor for a look as the train is speeding down the track. Many of them, prodigies of the tinsel-town mentality that is uniquely Western, clamor to see those with mainstream notoriety. They tend to ignore the less famous, hard-working masses and leaders of the masses and seek to be in the shadow of those who they feel have some status. There is disruption on the train. A low rumbling is going on. Yet the train keeps moving. It has picked up some speed on its own. The rumbling is not slowing it down, yet rocking it ever so slightly. Then, lo and behold, the train picks up additional international passengers. The preparatory process for the World Conference Against Racism includes organizations that embrace reparations: December 12th Movement, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Race Relations Institute, ALIANZA and others. And the train becomes an international carrier, linking the reparations movement in the United States to reparations movements throughout the Americas, in Europe and in Africa.

The train is adding new cars, day after day; month after month. The challenges, those hills and valleys we spoke about earlier, at times loom large. And so, we pause, if only for a moment to identify them in order to surmount them -- because after all, we cannot allow anything to slow this train and stop its forward progression.

The Hills and Valleys Along the Way to Victory

Clearly, the history of this Reparations Movement reveals one major hill and valley as government actions to destabilize and destroy the momentum to reparations. The imprisonment of our leaders, resulting in significant destabilization of the organizations which they led, is an age-old tactic and not one specifically directed at reparation work. We saw it in COINTELPRO, with Black Liberation organizations such as the Black Panthers.

The diversity in the movement is another hill and valley. It is more comfortable working with people and organizations that agree on basic strategies to win reparations and the forms it should take. It is harder to maintain the momentum of the train when there is diversity in ideas about the route to reparations and the form of reparations. As the diversity increases, N'COBRA must continue to be a stabilizing force; the all-embracing coalition that allows for and in fact creates opportunities for open dialogue for the purpose of having an inclusive picture of reparations and a route that allows for the inclusion of the most people.

Competition for the limelight is another hill and valley. In order for the train to get to its final destination, it must allow for people from every walk of life to get on. Some of these people will be well-known in their own right and at times get the attention that many of those who have worked in the vineyards have not gotten and may never get. We have to continue to respond principally, not letting the train get sidetracked and not derailing it ourselves because the headliners are not who we may have chosen. We have to utilize the knowledge we have in public relations to keep the story out there and to see the value, in fact, of having on board some those with "star factors."

Competition for strategies is another hill and valley. In order to get to the final destination we will need to use many different mechanisms and strategies. There is no one strategy that will win the day. The train needs porters, engineers, cooks, fuel, furniture and passengers to name only some things. The train's fuel may be wood at one time, coal at another time, and raw determination at another. Similarly, we have to respect and support each of the primary strategies of N'COBRA including legislative lobbying, direct action, economic development, public education, and litigation. The train will get to the final destination not with one, but all efforts. Each of the strategies works together to pull and push the train into the final station. Each of the strategies can be seen as supportive of the entire movement.

Finally, we have to put our money where our mouth is. The adage rings true: "Freedom ain't Free." We have to raise the money necessary to keep the train moving. We have to dig deep into our pockets for the price of the ticket, the price of the meals, the fuel, the supplies and the furnishings necessary to keep the train running, to add new cars and to get to our final destination - the obtaining of reparations.

The Victory is There - We Must Claim It

When you are planning a vacation or even a big business trip you often visualize being there before you get there. You can see yourself having fun with friends or relatives or, in the case of business, participating in the meeting or obtaining some needed service. If you watch your visualization, you see that what you expected is often obtained. The same is true for reparations.

Let's hold the vision of obtaining reparations. Visualize us sitting around the table negotiating the terms of reparations. Picture a successful outcome in that negotiation -- what do you want for reparations? Stay with that picture as we traverse the land on this train picking up passengers, workers and fuel along the way. Claim the victory and then all the hills and valleys will be just that, hills and valleys that will be traversed. Claim the victory and no power can stop us. Claim the victory now and see it unfold. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can see the vindication of our ancestors through receipt of reparations. I can see the striking down of laws that maintain vestiges of slavery. I can see the schoolbooks depicting our history with respect and new found accuracy. I can see our children learning about the contributions of their ancestors from the beginning of time until today. I can see the poverty stricken communities being infused with resources to provide adequate housing and other life-sustaining and enhancing facilities. I see it. Victory is ours!

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Reparations Coordinating Committee Files Tulsa Reparations Case

N'COBRA is pleased to be a part of historic reparations litigation for the acts of terror that destroyed the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma (Black Wall Street), murdered and brutalized its residents and forcibly separated them from their homes. This act of terror has continuing consequences to this very day.

Download First Ammendment Case (PDF)

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Reparations: A straight Line From Slavery

Dr. Ronald Walters
Distinguished Leadership Scholar
University of Maryland

The Contribution of Slavery to American Development

We are in a period of history where morality and ethics are emphasized as the primary ingredients civil virtue. However, one of the most immoral acts in the development of the United States of America was the enslavement of the African, compounded by the failure to acknowledge that the grandeur of this country was based, in substantial part, upon the monumental resources made possible by unpaid African labor and the refusal to reward Reparations for this crime. What occurred is known by the legal concept of "unjust enrichment." Yet, most Americans have rejected the strength of America's slave heritage and as such, devalue the contribution of African slavery to the formation the nation's economic strength.

Download Dr. Walters Paper (PDF)

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Compilation by Deadria C. Farmer-Paellmann

Download Corporate Restitution For Slavery Compilation (PDF)

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By Ron Daniels Article Dated 4/16/2002

Download United Front Required To Win Reparations

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CATO vs USA, A Reparations Lawsuit (1995)

"Two groups of plaintiffs, Jewel Cato, Joyce Cato, Howard Cato and Edward Cato; and Leerma Patterson, Charles Patterson, and Bobbie Trice Johnson (collectively "Cato"), filed nearly identical complaints in forma pauperis against the United States for damages due to the enslavement of African Americans and subsequent discrimination against them, for an acknowledgment of discrimination, and for an apology. 1 The district court in both cases dismissed the complaints prior to service pursuant to 28 U.S.C. S 1915(d)"

Download CATO vs USA, A Reparations Lawsuit (PDF)

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The Abuja Proclamation

A declaration of the first Abuja Pan-African Conference on Reparations For African Enslavement, Colonization And
Neo-Colonization, sponsored by The Organization Of African Unity and its Reparations Commission April 27-29, 1993,
Abuja, Nigeria

Download Abuja Proclamation (PDF)

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An Act establishing the New Jersey African-American Reconciliation Study Commission and making an appropriation.

Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

1. The Legislature finds and declares that:

a. The institution of slavery in America dates back to the beginning of the colonial period. Slavery was constitutionally and statutorily sanctioned by the United States government from 1789 through 1865. During that period, millions of persons of African origin were brought to this country against their will, deprived of their liberty, their property, their children and often their lives. Slavery assaulted the dignity and humanity of the persons who were enslaved, treating them as property and forced them to work under brutal physical and psychological conditions.

Download New Jersey African-American Reconciliation Act (PDF)

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On behalf of herself :
and all other persons : CLASS ACTION
similarly situated, :
INC., CSX, and Their predecessors, successors :
and/or assigns, and CORPORATE DOES NOS. 1-1000, :
Plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and all other persons similarly situated, state, upon information and belief, as follows:
1. Over 8,000,000 Africans and their descendants were enslaved in the United States
from 1619 to 1865. The practice of slavery constituted an "immoral and inhumane deprivation of Africans' life, liberty, African citizenship rights, cultural heritage" and it further deprived them of the fruits of their own labor.

Download Farmer-Paellmann Case(PDF)

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Advanced Policy Analysis Federal Reparations Policy: A Cost Benefit Framework

By Angie Rogers

In many respects, this analysis is presented in the same spirit in which Richard America presented Paying the Social Debt and The Wealth of Races. Amidst a dominant conversation that concerns itself with the legal, moral, and ethical justifications for reparations, a baseline assumption is often made that an empirical analysis has no place in these conversations. Analyses like America’s and the one offered here contend that we can talk about the law, we can talk about history, and we can talk about ethics, but we can also talk about dollars and cents and measuring up.

Download Advanced Policy Analysis (PDF)

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Milton McGriff

On the last page of his eloquent book, The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks, Randall Robinson suggests a tactic to keep the policymakers on Capitol Hill from ignoring the reparations issue:


"Every black church, organization, and institution would commit to choose one day of the 130-odd days that the Congress is in session and bring on that day one thousand African Americans to walk the halls of Congress in support of compensation measures designed to close the economic and psychic gap between
blacks and whites in America. The Congress, for one year, would never stop seeing our faces, never stop hearing our demands, never be relieved of our presence."

On January 30, 2003, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N'COBRA) brings Robinson's concept to life. Four N'COBRA chapters in the Northeast Region - Philadelphia, D.C. Metro, Baltimore, New York - will pick a day in each of the first four months and take 1,000 African Americans to "walk the halls of Congress" on that day. We need the entire national body of N'COBRA and its supporters to create A Year of Black Presence that Congress cannot ignore.

Let's examine A Year of Black Presence. What it is, how it will function, and what needs to be done to force Congress into action. Basically, this work is designed to create, for the first time, a full and thorough discussion about reparations between the U.S. government and African-Americans. We believe the mechanism for such a discussion is HR40, "the Conyers bill," that would establish a commission to examine our Holocaust of enslavement, the reign of terror known as Jim Crow, the aftermath of both, and make recommendations to the Congress for remedies to repair the damage.

It stands to reason that if there is no discussion with the U.S. government, there will be no reparations settlement from the U.S. government. If there is a discussion with the U.S. government, and if history is any judge, federal officials will in all likelihood try and create something that looks like reparations without transforming anything meaningful for African-Americans. We must create enough mass support to not only get the HR40 bill passed, we must be strong enough to influence the recommendations a reparations commission will make.

We are presently dealing with an all-Republican Congress. These friendly fascists are currently trying to give huge tax cuts to the rich. If they are successful, they will then plead broke when it comes to funding programs the American people need today - Medicare and Social Security come immediately to mind - and either reduce them drastically, turn them over to the private sector, or eliminate them. These are not people who will look fondly on restitution for our Holocaust of enslavement and the viciousness of American Apartheid.

(It needs to be said: With both parties, we have a fight on our hands. We have not yet received huge support from the Democratic Party, either. Although most of the co-sponsors of HR40 are Democrats, the party has collectively remained silent. Part of our goal in going to Washington needs to be making reparations and HR40 campaign issues in the 2004 presidential election if we have not met with success by then.)

Again, we must not only have the discussion, we must create enough mass support to have a strong influence on the outcome of that discussion.

In October 2001, Philadelphia N'COBRA created a pilot project of A Year of Black Presence. We asked several local organizations to join us in a coalition that would focus on just one aspect of the reparations issue: HR 40.

A distinct logo was created for A Year of Black Presence by Khepera Ausar, a brilliant Brooklyn graphics artist. The logo has the ever watchful, all-seeing Egyptian eye of God looking down on the Capitol above the letters AYBP.

Thus A Year of Black Presence Coalition (AYBP) was born. AYBP Coalition is an initiative of N'COBRA, working through the N'COBRA Legislative Commission, and made up of organizations that support getting HR40 passed. Although as many as 15 organizations have been in AYBP Coalition at one time or another, the most active have been Philadelphia N'COBRA, African-American Freedom and Reconstruction League, Phila. House of the Lord Church, Lost Found Nation of Islam, Black Radical Congress, Mother Bethel AME Church Social Action Committee, and the Phila. NAACP.

AYBP Coalition introduced itself to Philadelphia with a forum that featured Rep. John Conyers, the sponsor of HR40. We have funded our work thus far through several sources: each member group has donated money; a grant from Bread and Roses Community Fund, Inc., a progressive non-profit; a donation from an anonymous source. As we move forward, national N'COBRA and the chapters must find creative ways to raise funds to aid the chapters in creating "a year of black presence."

Each N'COBRA chapter should start an AYBP Coalition by reaching out to two or more organizations in your area who agree with the goals of HR 40. (The entire bill can be read by using links at the Congressional Black Caucus Internet website.)

Philadelphia's goal for January 30, 2003, is filling 20 buses with 49 people each, a total of 980 people. We are charging $20 for tickets, with $15 of each ticket going toward the cost of the bus. On a full bus, the remaining $245 will be used either for a "unity item" or for food. A "unity item" is something that will identify the AYBP participants walking the halls of Congress easily: a cap, T-shirt, etc.

We will divide participants into teams and train a team leader for each group. In Washington, the team leader will be responsible for facilitating discussions when the team visits the office of a Congressperson.

For January, we will visit members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and several selected Congresspersons. We will have specific questions designed to either secure a commitment or find out objections to HR40. For instance, in a government that studies everything from the mating habits of whales to you-name-it, why won't they study a subject as important to the nation as the African Holocaust of enslavement?

We will send media kits to all D.C. and Philadelphia news agencies, and also to selected national media (Ebony, Essence, USA Today, BET, etc.)
We are also preparing an information kit for all 435 Congresspersons and 100 senators. We don't want them saying they don't know about it!

Although we are assigning specific AYBP dates to selected Northeast Region cities, this has to do with their proximity to Washington. If any other chapters or individuals can make the trip, we will provide all the information about how we are organizing this effort. Other chapters can either pick a day of their own or come down on a day already being organized. There's no reason we can't have more than 1,000 people or more than one day a month. We do want to coordinate our plans through the

N'COBRA Legislative Commission so that things run smoothly when we're there taking care of this important business.

N'COBRA chapters may also want to hold demonstrations in their city concurrent with an AYBP day in Washington and visit the local office of a Congressperson to talk with him/her about HR40.

If we are visible in large numbers, we can let Congress know that we will no longer be ignored.

The U.S. government will only do for African-Americans what it is forced to do. The Civil Rights Movement is evidence of this. At no other time in this nation's history have it even attempted to right the evils that stain its past.

Reparations and restitution will only come with broad-based support and sustained effort.

N'COBRA Phila, AYBP: 215.604.3658

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Milton McGriff,National Coordinator
A Year of Black Presence Coalition (AYBP)

“REMARKS” made at Press Conference on Capitol Hill for kick off of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) Year of Black Presence (AYBP) Lobbying initiative January 30, 2003

Download A Year of Black Presence Coalition (PDF)

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Louisiana House of Representatives                          Mr. Raymond Jetson; Mr. Melvin “Kip” Holden;
                                                                              Mr. Joseph Delpit     1990 
California Legislature                                                Mr. Kevin Murray, 2001
Florida Legislature
Maryland                          (pending)                          Mr. Nathaniel Exum, Ms. Salima Marriott
New York Legislature         (pending)                         Mr. Roger Green
Texas Legislature              (pending)
Pine Bluff, Arkansas                                                Mr. Jackie Kirby, 2003
Alameda County, California                                      Mr. Keith Carson.
Berkeley, California                                                 Ms. Maudelle Shirek, 2001     
Compton, California                                                 Ms. Yvonne Arceneaux
Foster City, California                                              Ms. Marie Davis, 1998
Inglewood California                                                 Mr. Daniel Tabor
Los Angeles, California                                            Mr.  Mark Ridley-Thomas, Mr. Nate Holden, 2000
Oakland, California                                                  Mr. Larry Reid
East Palo Alto, California                                         Mr. Omowale Satterwhite
San Francisco, California
District of Columbia                                                Mrs. Wilhelmina Rolark, 1991
Atlanta, Georgia                                                     Mr. Clarence T. Martin; Ms. “Able” Mabel Thomas, 1999
Chicago, Illinois (resolution; ordinance)                     Ms. Dorothy Tillman, 2000 & 2002
Evanston, Illinois                                                    Mr. Jean Baptiste,
Baltimore, Maryland                                                Ms. Bea Gaddy, 2000
Detroit, Michigan                                                     Ms. Barbara-Rose Collins, 2004
Jackson, Mississippi                                              Mr. Kenneth I. Stokes,
Clairborne County, Mississippi                                 March 22, 2005
St. Louis, Missouri                                                  Mr. Terry Kennedy, 1999
Camden, New Jersey
Passaic County, New Jersey                                   Ms.  Marilee Jackson, 2002
Patterson, New Jersey                                            Ms. Georgia Scott, 2001
Newark, New Jersey
Cleveland, Ohio                                                       Ms. Fannie Lewis
Philadelphia, PA (resolution)                                    Mr. Michael Nutter
Philadelphia, PA (ordinance)                                    Ms.  Blondell Reynolds Brown 2005
Dallas, Texas                                                         Mr. John Wiley, Mr. Al Lipscomb
Ft. Worth, Texas                                                     Mr. Frank Moss, 2004
Burlington, Vermont                                                 Mr. Richard T. Kemp, 2001 
Richmond, Virginia                                                   March 1, 2005


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African-American Freedom and Reconstruction League (AAFRL)
All For Reparations and Emancipation (AFRE)
Alliance for Democracy
American Association of University Women
American Civil Liberties Union
Association of Black Psychologist
Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association
Black Radical Congress
California American Friends Service Committee
Caucasians United for Reparations and Equality (C.U.R.E.)
Coalition of Labor Union Women
Communication Workers of America
Council of Independent Black Institutions
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
Detroit Board of Education
Institute of the Black World
International Association of Black Firefighters
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
Nation of Islam
National Association of Black Social Workers
National Association of Real Estate Brokers
National Baptist Convention
National Bar Association
National Black Environmental Justice League
National Black United Front
National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America
National Conference of Black Lawyers
National Conference of Black Political Scientists
National Lawyers Guild
National Political Congress of Black Women Inc.
National Rainbow Push Coalition
National Urban League
New Panther Vanguard Movement
Organization of Tribal Unity (OTU)
Pan African Association of America
Reparations United Front of Los Angeles (RUF)
Republic of New Africa (RNA)
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
The Green Party
The Jericho Movement for U.S. Political Prisoners
The Organization US
TransAfrica Forum
United Church of Christ
United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society
Universal Negro Improvement Association
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
*  Sampling of Organizations Compiled by the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America

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The Greenwood Plan: Reparations for the Greenwood Holocaust

By Damario Solomon Simmons
(a young law student from Tulsa, OK)

This paper will accomplish the following: 1) prove that describing the Greenwood massacre, as a “race riot” is erroneous; because the White citizens of Tulsa plotted to destroy the Black community of Greenwood, and through unprecedented urban warfare, White Tulsans, accomplished their mission. As a result, it is more accurate to refer to this incident, not as the “Tulsa Race Riot” but as the “Greenwood Holocaust”, because thousands of guilty Whites intentionally executed an unprecedented war on the Black citizens of Greenwood that led to the total destruction of the community; 2) to present a comprehensive reparations plan to compensate the victims and their descendents for the destruction to Greenwood and its Black citizens; and 3) to present a strategy for adopting this reparations plan for the victims of this horrible crime.

To support these three main points this article will: 1) briefly re-create the history of Black Oklahoma and describe why the unique circumstances of Black Oklahoma produced a Black paradise; 2) briefly describe the demographics of Greenwood at its heyday and the community’s potential had its future not been thwarted; 3) present a compelling case for real and substantive reparations for the horrendous and lasting harm done to the innocent victims of north Tulsa/Greenwood; 4) demonstrate the call for reparations does not and cannot equate an impartial dollar amount for the loss of life and property, but that it should encourage social responsibility for the injustice that occurred; and 5) show that there are strong precedents for reparations for criminal acts similar to those committed against the citizens of Greenwood.

Download The Greenwood Plan (PDF)

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Reparations and A New Global Order: A Comparative Overview

by Professor Chinweizu

A paper read at the second Plenary Session of the First Pan-African Conference on
Reparations, Abuja, Nigeria, April 27, 1993.

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The struggle for reparations for the Holocaust of Enslavement of African people is clearly one of the most important struggles being waged in the world today. For it is about fundamental issues of human freedom, human justice and the value we place on human life in the past as well as in the present and future. It is a struggle which, of necessity, contributes to our regaining and refreshing our historical memory as a people remembering and raising up the rightful claims of our ancestors to lives of dignity and decency and to our reaffirming and securing the rights and capacity of their descendants to live free, full and meaningful lives in our times.

Download The Ethics of Reparations (PDF)

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The Meaning of Reparation

Kimani Nehusi

The original version of this paper was presented to the Birmingham Preparatory Reparation Conference, 11 December 1993.

For the African people a full and correct understanding of the term ‘reparation’ demands that this notion be applied to the specific historical experience and the related contemporary condition of the great majority of our people across this planet. It will then be seen clearly that the meaning of this term transcends repayment for past and continuing wrong, to embrace self-rehabilitation through education, organisation and mobilisation.

Download The Meaning of Reparation (PDF)

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By Mathew Manweller

Everybody, it seems, is in the mood to apologize. The U.S. Congress has considered apologizing to African Americans for the country’s history of slavery. During his term in office, President Clinton offered multiple apologies: to the Rwandan people for lack of U.S. action during Rwanda’s ethnic civil war; to native Hawaiians for nineteenth-century imperialism; to survivors of the infamous Tuskegee experiments (Brooks 1999). The Catholic Church recently apologized for the Inquisition and the Holocaust (Bohlen 1997). The Japanese government, under pressure, apologized for abusing Korean “comfort women” during World War II. In one of the more unusual cases, Aetna, an insurance company, apologized for selling policies to slave owners in the 1850s. Some political and social activists have gone a step further and pushed Aetna, as well as governmental institutions, to pay reparations for their acts of more than a century ago. The apparent “contrition chic” that has descended over the twenty-first century has led Roy Brooks to label this century the “Age of Apology” (1999, 3).

Download Bill Of Attainer (PDF)

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In response to the growing momentum of the Reparations movement, the Information and Media Commission is committed to disseminating timely information on issues related to our struggle for Reparations. Our new publication, "BLACK REPARATIONS TIMES" © 2003 is a step up from the N’COBRA membership newsletter "REPARATIONS NOW!", and will report news and information not only about N’COBRA’s work, but also the efforts of other Reparations advocates, nationally and internationally. Please let us know what you think of our first edition of "BLACK REPARATIONS TIMES". Your suggestions are always welcome. You can also help out by: 1) providing items for possible publication such as articles, photos, etc; 2) volunteering professional skills (graphic arts, managing subscriptions & distribution, fundraising, etc.); 3) donating generously to this project, and 4) identifying potential sponsors.

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Download Black Reparations Times (Apr 2004)The Complete Publication (PDF)


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Download Black Reparations Times (Oct 2003) The Complete Publication (PDF)


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Download Black Reparations Times (July 2003) The Complete Publication (PDF)


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Download Black Reparations Times (March 2003) The Complete Publication (PDF)


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