A SUMMARY VERSION OF THE NATIONAL STRATEGIC REPARATIONS PLAN
A PRODUCT OF THE NATIONAL REPARATIONS CONGRESS, 2004 PRESENTED BY THE REPARATIONS UNITED FRONT OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. REVISED AND UPDATED 2010-2015
I. RATIONALE FOR THE NSRP
II. OBJECTIVES OF THE NSRP
III. OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF REPARATIONS
IV. REPARATIONS PRACTICALITIES: WHAT IT IS AND ISN’T
V. RECOMMENDED ACTIONS LINKED TO THE DEFINITION AND THE
A. SHORT-TERM ACTIVITIES
B. LONG-TERM ACTIVITIES
I. RATIONALE FOR THE PLAN
At this historical time during the first two decades of the 21st century, the Reparations Movement—locally, nationally and internationally–needs to move to the level of regional and national strategic reparations plans. Why? As long as the primary aim of the Reparations Movement is actually to achieve reparations, the momentum forward towards that goal will either be through divine intervention (usually called accidents, miracles, or dumb luck) or through carefully thought-out strategic steps by Reparations Movement organizers and planners. Spiritual intervention may also occur, but whenever it does, it will have its own timing and will not be within the control of reparations activists and organizers. However, the strategic implementation of group tactics towards a series of shared reparations goals is within our control. For the past decade, we have had hundreds of meetings, Town Halls,
gatherings, sit-downs, conferences, and one congress to engage reparationists in discussions of what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and how it needs to be done. We have had over twenty-five mass market books, more than seven hundred printed articles, and at least twenty websites publicly distributed that deal specifically with aspects of the African American Reparations Movement, and, frequently, with the International Reparations Movement.
N’COBRA, the most recognizable reparations group in the USA, has had multiple annual conferences during the period, and several special gatherings, including two important leadership roundtables. The NDABA series of reparations leadership meetings, called the “Great Sit-downs,” were created by Dr. Conrad Worrill of the National Black United Front, in association with Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, and has been held at least four times, twice in 2003, and twice in 2004. Former Chicago Alderwoman Dorothy Tillman’s National Reparations Convention also met annually for several years starting in 2000, and the Reparations United Front of Southern California, in association with the Compton College BSU and the NRC National Planning Group, produced and held the first (and thus far, only) National Reparations Congress, which was a gathering of reparations activists from across the U.S., in the early summer of 2004. The Millions for Reparations committee, spearheaded by Viola Plummer of the December 12th Movement and Conrad Worrill of NBUF, held a national reparations rally in Washington, D.C. in August, 2002, and numerous other organizations have held panel discussions, Town Halls, Teach-ins, Black History Month lectures, etc., to spread the Reparations Movement word. But with notable exceptions, the Black Church remains uninterested and uninvolved in the Movement. The traditional civil rights groups, with the exception of the local Political Action Committees of the NAACP, have eschewed any real commitment to or involvement in the Movement. Similarly, American youth and students, except on scattered occasions, have thus far not been motivated by or interested in the Reparations Movement to any significant degree. The Masons, Shriners, Elks, Eastern Stars, Black fraternities and sororities, and most Hollywood celebrities, except TransAfrica Chairman Danny Glover, have shown little knowledge and given virtually no attention to the Movement, save the snide jokes of Cedric the Entertainer in “Barber Shop,” and Chris Rock in his monologues.
Here, the point is made that one of the central components necessary for this stage of the Reparations Movement is a set of regional strategic plans with common principles and goals attached to a single, unifying national strategic reparations plan. There have been great and profound speeches made, some brilliant ideas and projects offered and discussed by well-meaning reparationists, and a few activities actually carried through to completion, like the NDABA’s grass roots petition campaign to Congress, and N’COBRAS’s Black Fridays, and the Year of Black Presence, among several others.
But what is crystal clear when contemplating all that has been said and done in the last decade or so of this Movement is that while there has certainly been a great deal of talk accompanied by a number of important visionary statements of a reparations future, there has been very little evidence of organized, strategic follow-through, so that in fact, we are not ready to win this struggle (as recently evidenced regarding the Wachovia Bank situation), although we remain doggedly ready to continue fighting in disparate ways.
The Reparations Movement currently hovers at another of its many crossroads. An increasing number of committed and dedicated activists who have invested a lot of time, money, energy and thought to the Movement are now constantly in high frustration mode and they cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel. Many of them are thinking of moving on to other things and issues. To help us re-invigorate them and provide an impetus for choosing the right path forward and to avoid the road to perdition, it is clear that the Movement must now have many more reparations chess players and less folk who merely talk a good game. At this critical time, there must be the coming to the fore of the strategic planners and organizers.
II. FIVE PRINCIPAL GOALS FOR THE REGIONAL REPARATIONS PLAN
All activity, projects, tasks and efforts identified in this reparations plan are to ensure the accomplishment of the following principal goals:
A. The raising of the level of consciousness concerning reparations to
a critical mass of African Americans in each region of the USA—to wit, each reparations group in various parts of the country should dedicate itself to ensuring that reparations will be on the lips and in the conversations of all Black folk in the organizing realm of that group.
B. The organization, coordination and implementation of selective economic
boycotts to gain bargaining leverage concerning reparations.
C. The planning, coordination and implementation of a national legal strategy.
D. The planning, coordination and implementation of a broader political/
legislative strategy than H.R. 40 alone.
E. The establishment, coordination and implementation of regional Slave
Remembrance and Restitution Funds that will eventually merge into a national SRR Fund..
III. THIS OPERATIONAL DEFINITION FOR BLACK AFRICAN AMERICAN REPARATIONS IS THE BASIS FOR THE NATIONAL STRATEGIC REPARATiONS PLAN SUMMARIZED IN THIS DOCUMENT
A. EXTERNAL REPARATIONS
(A) GOVERNMENTAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, APOLOGY, ATONEMENT, AND COMPENSATION FOR ITS PARTICIPATION IN THE SEIZURE AND MISUSE OF VALUABLE PROPERTY –LABOR PROPERTY–TAKEN FROM BLACK AFRICAN AMERICANS WHO WORKED AS SLAVES BETWEEN 1775-18652 IN THIS COUNTRY, USING THAT ILL-GOTTEN PROPERTY TO UNJUSTLY ENRICH THIS COUNTRY AND HELP IT BECOME THE GREAT NATION IT IS TODAY, ALL WITHOUT FAIRLY COMPENSATING THOSE AFRICAN AMERICANS OR THEIR DESCENDANTS FOR THE DELIBERATE LOSS OF SAID LABOR PROPERTY;
(B) COMPENSATION (DEMONSTRATING THE ATONEMENT) FOR THE 140-YEAR SET OF GOVERNMENT-SUPPORTED ACTIVITIES CALLED JIM CROWISM AND BLACK SEGREGATION (INCLUDING THE LYNCHING, MURDERING AND RAPING OF BLACK PEOPLE, AND THE RAZING OF BLACK TOWNSHIPS) ALL OF WHICH RELEGATED AFRICAN AMERICANS TO THE BOTTOM RUNGS OF SOCIETY;
(C) COMPENSATION (DEMONSTRATING ATONEMENT) AT FAIR MARKET VALUE FOR CONTINUING GOVERNMENT-SUPPORTED ANTI-BLACK SOCIO-POLITICAL-ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES THAT HAVE DEPRIVED AFRICAN AMERICANS
OF RESPECT AND THEIR RIGHTFUL HONORED PLACE IN USA SOCIETY.
B. INTERNAL REPARATIONS
(NOTE: Internal Reparations does not absolve, excuse or dilute the responsibility of the various U.S. governmental components nor American corporations viz-a-viz Black Americans and what is owed us. However, our redemption is both
external and internal and will not occur without our taking responsibility for
part of our own healing.)
(D) BLACK ASSESSMENT AND IDENTIFICATION OF THOSE NEGATIVE AND DEBILITATING ASPECTS OF OUR COMMUNITIES THAT WE CAN MOBILIZE AND ORGANIZE OUR EFFORTS TO REPAIR, REFORM AND CORRECT FOR OUR OWN BENEFIT.
(E) THE FORMULATION OF ACTION PLANS—BOTH SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM—TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS AND NEGATIVE ASPECTS ASSESSED AND IDENTIFIED, AND THE SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF THOSE PLANS IN BLACK COMMUNITIES.
1 The Operational Definition of Reparations, which is the basis of this NSR Plan, was developed and submitted by The Reparations Research & Advocacy Group, Los Angeles, California (And enhanced by suggestions from participants and Planning Group members for the National Reparations Congress, Los Angeles/Compton, California, 2004); approved and adopted by the RUF membership, September, 2004.
This Operational Definition is a complement to the current conceptual definitions of reparations regularly referred to in the Reparations Movement. Conceptual definitions, while very important for envisioning the “big picture” of a process, are essentially generalized notions or ideas about an issue, thing or activity. It is rare for conceptual definitions to be adequate or very useful when it’s time for real work. The most accepted concept of reparations in the Movement, for example, is that it Is equivalent to repairing the Black community. Whether it is ‘repairing a wrong or an injury, or repairing the community back to wholeness,’ the idea of repair presupposes an original condition of non-injury, non- wrong, non-damaged when we were whole and healthy, or when we existed in efficient, harmonious operation or normal relations. But exactly when was that in the African American Experience? Was it back in various West African villages that we are still trying to find our DNA connections to? Was it during the Maafa/Transatlantic Slave Trade? Was it during the heyday of several successful Black towns in America before their
Rosewood and Greenwood-like devastation by enraged white citizens and surrounding governments? Was it during the bullwhip days of chattel slavery in America? During Jim Crow days after the Civil War? During the era of Emmit Till and the Civil Rights Movement? In reality, there exists no clarity in the Reparations Movement about what historical period we are referring to when demanding repair. That makes it amorphous and virtually impossible to focus on and achieve. That is characteristic of conceptual definitions. Operational definitions are more specific and pragmatic, clarifying articulations of a process, thing or activity and can be more readily put into tangible action.
IV. African American REPARATIONS: A STRAIGHTFORWARD BREAKDOWN
WHAT REPARATIONS IS: (Based on our continuing veneration of and connection to our African and African-descendent ancestors)
1. It is our race-based quest for justice in America.
2. It is our race-based quest for the restoration and redemption of our
dignity and positive worth as a people in this country and on this
3. It is our relentless quest to achieve respect for simply being Black
people in this country and in this world. The single collective
existence of Black people in America and on this planet is one
of common, habitual and omnipresent disrespect. From that core
(a nurtured product of white supremacy) all else that ails us comes.
4. It is the race-based quest for an Apology (to our Ancestors)–An
Atonement (to demonstrate the sincerity or at least the seriousness
of the Apology)–and Compensation (in some form decided by Black
people in the USA).
5. It is the race-based quest to heal this country of its racist past and
present, and to provide a viable, non-racist alternative for this
6. It is the accumulation of overwhelming bushels of evidence,
including personal testimony, property records and deeds, financial
profits and transactions, historical documentation and a clear
sense of righteous indignation together balled up into tight, steel-
trap arguments that will compel victory in the foreseeable future.
7. It is a national/regional struggle in the USA that is closely
intertwined with a global reparations struggle against vestiges of
colonialism and capitalist exploitation. A reparations victory
anywhere will show the way for reparations victories everywhere!!
8. It is both an Internal struggle for us to redeem and rescue
ourselves, and an External struggle to exact acknowledgement,
apology, atonement and some form of compensation for this country’s long-term abuse and exploitation of Black people.
9. It is a demand for the release and return of our Black political
10. It is logical, it is correct, and it is winnable.
WHAT REPARATIONS IS NOT:
1. It is not a plea for a hand-out, another welfare program, nor an
extortion plot to fleece White folk. Reparations is not solely an economics issue—we cannot buy the respect that is due us.
2. It is not a substitute for regular and ordinary social programming
done by the USA government (e.g., the National Welfare system).
3. It is not a far-out fantasy of the lunatic fringe.
4. It is not an issue that Black folk will simply forget and “get over it.”
5. It is not going to be won by trying to solve all our problems at once.
We must focus our efforts.
6. It is not the panacea for all Black problems, but it is the beginning of
our being able to end those ills that have kept us down for so long.
7. It will not cause more racial friction; it will finally allow racial healing
8. It is not a struggle that can be won by one segment of the Black
population in the USA. To win, we need a coming together of
virtually all segments of the Black population, and international allies.
9. It is not a struggle for the lazy and one-time participant. To win
this struggle we must be relentless and focused on reparations.
10. It is not a struggle that will be won by emotion, zeal, righteousness
and passion alone. We must have continuous strategic planning,
common sense, mother wit and mutual respect to get this done.
V. RECOMMENDED ACTIONS CONNECTED TO THE OPERATIONAL
DEFINITION OF REPARATIONS AND THE PRINCIPAL GOALS
A. SHORT-TERM TACTICS (NOTE: These are activities that can and should
be completed within two years or less)
(1) Disseminate the word to all college/university campuses, public and
charter schools, that for Black History Month Activities, for
Black graduation dinners and seminars, periodic campus guest speaker
events, graduation speakers, etc., bring in reparations speakers.
(2) Make sure that for all upcoming student conferences, 2010-2015, where
there will be Black attendance, reparations – in its international and/or national dimensions– will be discussed somewhere on the agenda.
(3) Make sure that in all regional areas that have Black-Africana-Pan African-
African American Studies programs or departments, students should try to
get professors to set up reparations classes, colloquia or seminars to discuss
the issue, or else incorporate the topic into their current course syllabi. BSU
and ASU-type meetings should initiate dialogue on the issue, do student
debates regarding the issue, and/or coordinate student-faculty retreats to
discuss reparations, among other ideas.
(4) Set up book clubs on reparations to keep current with the increasing literatureon the topic.
(5) Buy and support rap/hip-hop artists and other talents who push the reparations issue, and request reparations songs to be played on the radio, including campus radio shows.
(6) Make sure that in all church, mosque, community group, and campus cultural activities (e.g. theater, poetry, dance, singing, step shows, etc.) that students and youth are involved in, they push for the reparations issue to be included in the activities in some way.
(7) Find out whether your campus—high school or college/university—was
built by slaves or founded by investors who made money from slavery or
the slave trade. If your research shows either to be the case, demand a campus
memorial or other kind of recognition of that fact.
(8) Find a distinctive tactic that appeals to youth and students and spread it
(e.g., Rap-ins, where students consistently stand in front of classroom
buildings, on the campus lawns, or in the campus Quads, and do short rap/
spoken word pieces on reparations); Challenge-ins, where students select
certain social science or humanities classes and, with the professor’s
permission, challenge the particular class to a reparations debate, etc.).
(9) Set up a student reparations response team on every campus to immediately produce a written rebuttal to any Horowitz-type campus or community newspaper article/opinion piece on reparations.
(10) Put out flyers and leaflets promoting the various pro-reparations arguments. Take out ads in the campus and community newspapers supporting and advocating reparations.
Churches, Mosques should:
(1) Investigate the scheduling of all upcoming church conventions and
conferences where policy resolutions and substantial discussion will be
allowed. Get on the agenda (contact whatever ministers, program
coordinators, or planning committees that are in charge and negotiate
participation) and get reparations resolutions written and passed in all
available regional denominations of the Black Church.
(2) Try to get church and mosque ministers to let your best reparations
speakers do a Black History Month sermon during February, 2010-2015.
(3) During Sunday School, use Bible verses and stories that promote
(4) For churches and community groups that have Kwanzaa celebrations in the region, get the reparations issue into the discussion topics.
(5) Whenever churches have youth choirs, theater/drama activities, teen
development/rites of passage activities, get the reparations issue discussed
in those venues through skits, songs, and other techniques.
(6) Get the adult choirs—particularly on Men’s Day, Women’s Day or other
special activities—to do something on reparations. Find a reparations-oriented song, write one, or have one written for the choirs. Be creative and get this done.
(7) Work with any and all NOI mosques in the area to push the reparations issue. Have panel discussions at the mosques, when allowed, and find other
ways of helping all mosque members to become highly knowledgeable about the reparations issue.
(8) If a third and/or fourth Million Man March is organized, reparations groups should work closely with mosques and other interested groups to ensure the success of that effort, and to ensure a prominent role is made on the agenda for discussion of the National and International Reparations Movement.
Black Fraternal Organizations and Related Activities:
(1) If you are or you know a member of the Masons (three or four letter),
Shriners, Eastern Stars, Elks, Moose Lodge, or any other similar
organization, find a way of getting the reparations issue put into the
organization’s newsletter, get it on the agenda of lodge and temple
meetings, annual conferences, etc. Get the Masons and other similar
groups to endorse the Reparations Movement.
(2) If you are or you know a member of a Black Greek organization, get
the issue of reparations on the group’s agenda at any and all meetings
that are available for such public discussion. Get the organization to
sponsor reparations projects. Discuss the issue in the organization’s
newsletter or bulletin.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS/CHARTER SCHOOLS
(1) Engage PTAs in discussions about the reparations issue and how it can
be incorporated into regional school work.
(2) Get a small group of concerned individuals together and offer $100-
500 rewards for the best student essays on the reparations issue during
Black History Month, MLK festivities, and any other time the issue can
(3) Get reparations storytellers, dramatic skits, singing groups/rap groups,
etc., to bring the issue of reparations to as many schools as possible
during Black History Month, graduation ceremonies, and any other
available times. There will always be current and retired teachers who
are resident in our communities. Converse with them about how best
to achieve these ends; use their expertise.
(4) Pass out, whenever it’s allowable, the reparations one-sheets to kinder-
garteners, 1-6 graders, middle school students and high school students.
There are one-sheets specifically designed for each broad grade level
in the Appendix to this plan. For example: (Intended for Kindergarteners
and First Graders—Can Be Recited or Sung)
There was a man
Who worked real hard
He got no pay
But his back got scarred
There was a young girl
With dreams and things
Did what she was told
But sold for string
There was a woman
They worked her to death
She fed their children
Hers got hung for theft
There was an owner
Had lots of farm hands
Took away our freedom
Still owes us some land
(See Youth/Students, Section A in the Plan)
(1) Whatever group you are a member of, get the reparations issue on the
agenda as many times as possible. Try to get guest speakers to come
in and talk about the relevance of the reparations issue and the mission
of your group. Get the group to sponsor at least one reparations Town
Hall or to fully participate in one put on by another community group.
Pass out reparations one-sheets and other literature as often as possible.
(2) Choose a reparations project—Internal or External—that is appropriate
and relevant to your group, and drum up support within your group for
the project to be done. (For example, sponsor or sell a reparations
calendar, reparations pins, stickers, do a community debate on reparations,
coordinate a candidates’ forum that deals with the issue, etc.)
(3) We must help to complete and disseminate the results of the regional and
national survey of Black folk on what form of reparations they want.
(1) Record Industry
a. Locate and support any conscious rappers, hip hop or r&b
artists who are willing to make reparations-oriented records. That
means buying the cds/dvds, attending any concerts given by them,
and helping to arrange engagements at schools, community outlets, etc.
b. Do a letter-writing campaign to Russell Simmons, P. Diddy, and
other record moguls, requesting reparations tracks and albums from
some of their artists.
c. If talented enough, start your own reparations singing/rap group and
make the rounds of community shows, university programs, etc,
spreading the word.
d. Secure copies of Prince’s “When Will We Be Paid” (a re-make of the
Staples Singers’ 1970’s song), and any other dance-ready reparations
jam. There are several out there. Take them with you when you go
to parties and ask the DJ to play one or two of them. At any parties or
social gatherings that you host that include music, play one or more
a. Locate and secure any previously produced movies, t-v shows or
cable shows that deal with reparations. Get copies of them and prepare them to be shown at free public gatherings on reparations.
For any such shows that will be broadcast in the future or made into
films, have someone in your organization designated to scour the
entertainment trades for this information and have a mailing list/
telephone tree already prepared for quick dissemination of
broadcast times, theater bills, etc.
b. Seek out one or more Hollywood celebrities who will support
the Reparations Movement and negotiate with them on how they
can best help move us forward.
c. Produce and find ways to air as many times as possible Public
Service announcements on the Reparations Movement. Do this
on radio and t-v.
d. Find a way to produce and regularly broadcast a cable t-v program
on the Reparations Movement in your local area.
e. Do as many t-v/radio/cable interviews on the Reparations Movement
as possible. Try to get on the Steve Harvey Morning Show, Tavis
Smiley, etc. Be prepared and have something cogent to say.
(3). Pro Athletes
a. Locate either the agents of conscious pro athletes, or other accessible contacts and set up meetings with them to discuss the significance of
the Reparations Movement. Give them tangible ways to help—
financial support, making a public service comment, underwriting
a reparations gathering, talking to their friends about the Reparations
Movement, etc.—rather than have an informal chat that meanders nowhere.
b. Once a particular area or region has done an assessment of what
projects can be successfully accomplished by ourselves in terms of Internal Reparations, ask for specific help from the conscious pro athlete(s) you have successfully contacted.
The Business Community
(1) Articles have to be written and published making the case for the
African American business community to embrace the Reparations
Movement. One-sheets have to be prepared. The articles must
demonstrate how the achievement of African American reparations
will benefit all of us, including Black businesses. The articles must
get into the local newspapers, and businesses should be asked to allow
the reparations one-sheets to be left on their counters for clients
(2) Reparations exhibits, including brochures, videos, one-sheets, etc.,
should be prepared and displayed at any annual Black Business
Expositions, as regularly occurs in Los Angeles and other regional cities.
(3) Lectures should be prepared on ‘Reparations and the Black Business
Community,’ for presentations at conferences, Business Roundtables,
Black Business Student Association meetings, etc.
(4) Within the next 12 months, the Black Business community should
get prepared for a series of rolling economic boycotts by Black
customers of predominately White-owned businesses in the Black
The Legal Community
(5) The national and regional Black attorneys interested in reparations should meet and agree on a common legal strategy for achieving reparations. Filing scattered, individual lawsuits is not working. One or more of these attorneys should take the initiative and set up the series of meetings necessary to accomplish this legal strategy goal. There law students (BALSA students, for example) who are very interested in working along with those who pursue this approach.
(6) The regional reparations attorneys should help set up and run the Slave
Reparations Remembrance and Restitution Fund. This may have to begin
as a California state fund first to provide a positive model for how it
can work regionally, then nationally.
(7) There should be an historical search, state-wide and regionally, for
fully-supportable legal reasons to file briefs for reparations. For
example, the investigation of the illegal slave trade and slave
ownership in California after 1850 and its impact on unfair business
practices in the state is a current issue needing focused attention in order to be completed.
(8) Conduct legal research on whether states have violated their own public education laws and their duty to educate Black citizens. That may be
another grounds for legal redress. Also address the tobacco industry and
its unpaid Black labor issue.
(9) Those who are expert on the issue of Black Political Prisoners should
get that issue on the national legal strategies agenda for reparations so
that we can continue progressive work on that issue.
The Legislative/Governmental Community
(10) Work towards getting H.R. 40 passed, including passing out information
sheets, and trying to get more municipal resolutions approved should be
continued. (As of 2017, we are starting a companion process—Given the unlikelihood of Congress ever passing H.R. 40, another route is to do a state-by-state analysis of the 24 states which officially recognized slavery, based on the model established by Dr. Conrad Worrill and Dr. Iva Carruthers in looking at Illinois, and thus accomplishing the research component of H.R. 40.)
(11) We must explore the full range of governmental opportunity to get
reparations more broadly on the public agenda. The local representatives
on the Congressional Black Caucus should be asked to set a meeting
with President Obama or one of his top advisers and request a Presidential
Commission to Study the Viability of Reparations for African Americans.
Presidents regularly set up such commissions. A coherent essay
advocating that approach and its significance must be prepared and
delivered to each such representative. These representatives will
also be asked to seek federal funding for a special three-day
conference on the viability of the slave reparations, inviting up
to 25 Black scholars who will deliver papers on specific aspects
of this large issue, e.g., the Legal Argument for Reparations, the
Moral Argument for Reparations, etc. The papers presented will all
be published in a booklet as a special congressional representative
(12) The Slave Business Ordinance passed in Chicago, Detroit, Wayne County,
Philadelphia and Los Angeles must be carefully studied as a possible model
for other cities in the nation and region. A summary of how the Chicago/Los
Angeles laws were accomplished must be written, including an assessment
of what each has accomplished thus far for the Reparations Movement.
The Mass Media
(13) In each locale within states and regions, we must train at least one group
of writers and researchers to keep up with all news coverage of
the Reparations Movement, and to quickly respond to any
negative newspaper editorials or articles anywhere in their
(14) In each city within the region, raise the necessary funds and put up at least one, possibly two, large billboards saying REPARATIONS NOW! IN MEMORY OF OUR ANCESTORS AND FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN!! that can be seen by a large number of Black folk traveling
through the community daily.
(15) We must write and keep current one-sheets, flyers and brochures
on the Reparations Movement.
(16) We must write and get printed in the local media articles that will
help prepare the community to participate in an economic boycott
in 2010-2015 to establish negotiating leverage in this struggle.
(17) We must adopt a particular newspaper or mass media outlet (radio or
t-v) and focus a weekly letter writing campaign to that newspaper or
radio/t-v station giving them a steady stream of requests to publish
pro-reparations articles and commentary.
(18) We must make a list of each church bulletin, Black Greek newsletter,
Masonic bulletin, publications of the Association of Black Social Workers, newsletters of predominately Black employee unions, etc.
Make contact with whoever edits and produces these news sources,
and consistently try and get reparations pieces in those documents.
(19) We must publish a well-edited and well-presented Reparations
Newsletter at least bi-monthly for public distribution.
(20) We must produce and distribute a reparations DVD, and a reparations
Power Point presentation that can be distributed throughout the region.
(21) We must produce a bevy of Reparations Now pins, caps, shirts, stickers,
and other such paraphernalia and get them out to the public at every
(22) As stated above, get on any and every radio, t-v, cable show possible
and spread the reparations word.
(23) We should create and promote a national reparations holiday, using a date like March 6th, which was the date of the 1857 Supreme Court decision in the Dred Scott case that blacks are not citizens of this country and won’t ever be.
B. BROAD TACTICS FOR LONG-TERM GOALS (To be accomplished within the 2010-2015 time period)
(1) We must study the issue of American universities possibly being responsible for some portion of reparations because in their early years, slaves built their facilities, and/or the university faculty/staff owned slaves, as in Brown University and the University of Alabama.
(2) We must identify Black youth and students with talent, and help to
teach and to train them to become articulate, well-informed, responsible
and ethical spokespeople for Black reparations, redemption and respect.
We cannot allow these youth to grow up like weeds.
(3) We must master the computer technology that is currently available and
utilize it to help us accomplish reparations. All Black youth and students
should become computer experts and we all should do every thing we
can to facilitate that.
(4) We must get a “We Are The World”-type song and album recorded,
distributed and promoted by some conscious rappers/hip-hop and
(5) We must finance and establish a Black Leadership Institute somewhere
in the region or in the USA in which we can train our youth on how to lead us into the future, and where we can hold seminars, working sessions and meetings to keep our current Black leadership engaged with each other and on a positive, ethical and responsible path.
(6) We must educate our youth and students on who Black political
prisoners are, how we can network to keep each other informed about
the progress or lack of progress in their situations, and the various
ways we can help to support these sisters and brothers incarcerated
for trying to help the Black community. Our youth and students must
become more knowledgeable about using DNA sampling to force new
looks at old cases and to help get some of those incarcerated out.
(1) We must convince from 15-25 ministers with significant congregations
per region nationally to take on the reparations issue and to push their
congregations to understand it and to get involved in it.
(2) We must construct a massive mailing list (e-mail and snail mail) and
telephone tree of church and mosque members that we can regularly
contact with reparations information.
(3) We must continually cultivate the reparations relationship with the Nation of Islam, to steadily improve the sharing of vital information on the progress of the Reparations Movement. There should be joint rallies, panel discussions, strategy sessions, etc., as often as possible on this issue.
(4) Eventually, we must sit down with White church allies and inform
them how they can help us in this struggle, but through our direction only.
(5) We must set up a church-by-church visitation schedule in each locale in
the region to either be on the podium delivering the reparations message, or passing out leaflets and flyers to church and mosque goers (on cars,
hand-to-hand, etc.). We should be able to visit every Black Church and
Muslim Mosque in the entire region at least once every two years, with
some visited more than once.
Black Fraternal and Social Organizations
(1) There must be a consistent network of contacts established and
maintained of Black Greek organizations and their members, the
Elks, Moose Lodge, and especially the Masons and Eastern Stars.
We must attend their rallies, conferences and meetings. We must
make sure we are members ourselves, and we must continually push
the reparations issue.
(2) There must be a regional and national petition/support drive to get
as many Black organizations as possible to sign up to promote and
support the Reparations Movement, including as many Black Greeks,
Masons, etc.,as possible. The drive should culminate in 2010-2015.
(1) There are both informal and formal educational organizations
that we need to impact in terms of the reparations struggle. In the mass-based, grass roots educational activities, we must implement specific reparations educational programs in our particular geographical areas. In the formal educational process (public school), we must have a reparations educational curriculum
a. That tells the truth about the world
b. That corrects the currently taught historical record
c. That will have at its center the birth of African civilization
and the birth of capitalist exploitation
d. That re-claims our rightful place in the history and
development of science and technology
e. That re-invigorates African/Africana Studies in the
schools and colleges to re-claim their original purpose
to empower the Black community.
(2) We must infiltrate the current educational system in terms of
not only curriculum content, but book purchase decisions, methods of preparing and teaching culturally relevant information, etc.
(3) We must identify currently existing programs and activities
that allow us to model and share successes from other parts of the country, including:
a. The L.A. Learning to Learn initiative
b. The schools’ storytelling programs
c. The Ella Baker Training Institute
d. The consistent discussion of the 13th and 14th amendments
regarding the need for reparations
e. Providing training and extra credit through public school
and college programs (African American Studies, etc.) for
working with the community and pushing reparations.
(4) We must establish a Working Group on video production for
Reparations Education. Through that we will prepare
reparations infomercials, audio spots, 60-second public
service announcements, etc.
(5) We must get testimonials from Black doctors, faculty
members, star athletes, and others as spokespeople for
(6) We must study programs like the Model U.N. in public
schools and colleges as vehicles to immerse youth and
students into learning about and representing African
societies. That kind of training sharpens the mind and intellect
to defend African contributions.
(1) A listing of all Black-oriented academic/scholastic organizations must
be compiled, including contact names. All such organizations will
receive information urging them to add the reparations issue to their
discussion and decision agendas. All of these organizations will be
asked to sign the support letter which will come to them urging
continued, written support of the Reparations Movement. A specific
committee of people within each of our organizations should be
assigned to focus on this project.
(2) A list of all Black Studies/Africana Studies/Pan African Studies/African and African American Studies Programs and Departments in the region and in the country must be compiled, including relevant contacts, and reparations data, including the Reparations Newsletter mentioned above, should regularly be sent to each of them. The Black Studies entities should be urged
to join in and participate in the Reparations Movement in whatever
ways they can.
(3) All Black Studies organizations—NCBS, Black Heritage Association,
National Association for the Study of Black Life and History, etc.—
must be listed and contacted. Members of those organizations who are
reparationists should get the issue on the conference and meeting
agendas of those organizations on a regular basis.
(1) We must get as many grass roots and community-based organizations
as possible to implement this plan. Set up meetings, attend rallies,
discuss the plan with organizational representatives, answer any questions participants have, etc. Pass out one-sheets and brochures
to card club meetings, auto club rallies, Senior Citizens rallies and
(2) It is especially important that we must explain Internal Reparations
to any and all CBO and grass roots groups. Dealing with every
new or continuing problem in the Black Community is not IR,
but dealing with any and all of them that are about regaining the
respect that is due to Black folk, and redeeming the dignity of
Black people, is what Internal Reparations is about. So anything and
everything that CBO members and grass roots folk are doing towards
that end must be supported and encouraged as helping to move us
forward towards achieving the reparations goal.
(3) We must establish and maintain book clubs and reparations discussion
groups in the community to engage each other on new literature
in the Movement, and to keep up with all new writing and new issues
regarding the Reparations Movement. To stay informed is to stay
Entertainment Industry (Continue the Work Described in the Short-Term
Tactics Section of this Category Above)
Business Community (Continue the Work Described Above for this
Legal Community (Continue the Work Above)
. Legislative Community (Continue the Work Above)
The Mass Media (Continue the Work Above)
I. NEEDS AND RESOURCES TO ACHIEVE EFFECTIVE
IMPLEMENTATION AND SUCCESS OF THIS PLAN
A. Essentially, this plan is founded on creative volunteerism. There will
be no paid positions for getting the required work done, and,
unfortunately, much of the printing costs for flyers, brochures, newsletters,
one-sheets, etc., will be borne by the activists themselves unless their
local organizations are adept at fundraising.
B. There are already on-going reparations activities and organizations
in the region with their own body of resources. A networking list of
organizations and regular reparations activities should be produced
C Financial sponsorship of reparations activities should be explored from
Blacks who have the monetary wherewithal and the political
consciousness to help. Accepting financial donations from anyone who
offers is not a good idea and can bring discredit from the Black community
if the funds are from a suspicious source. Whatever activists can pay for
themselves, they should do.
D. The biggest asset we will have in the implementation of this plan is talented
Black folk: lawyers, teachers, business men and women, politicians, regular
grass roots workers, writers, students, clergy, musicians and artists, etc.
Actually, that may be enough