No amount of material resources or monetary compensation can ever be sufficient restitution for the spiritual, mental, cultural and physical damages inflicted on Africans by centuries of the MAAFA, the holocaust of enslavement and the institution of chattel slavery. These crimes against Black humanity, as affirmed by the Durban Declaration and Program of Action, were responsible for the death of millions of Africans who were ripped from their families and nations to labor for the enrichment of industries, commercial and financial institutions and individuals in Europe and the United States. In large measure the wealth of the new American nation was accumulated from the centuries of free labor, brutally extracted from enslaved Africans. With the “abolition” of slavery the “emancipated” sons and daughters of Africa suffered systematic, often violent repression, oppression, exploitation and deprivation under southern apartheid and de facto segregation in every region of this nation.
A political and economic system infected with white supremacy and structural/institutional racism persisted in retarding the dreams and aspirations of a people courageously striving to sustain families, build institutions and create healthy communities in a hostile land. The devastating damages of enslavement and systems of apartheid and de facto segregation spanned generations to negatively affect the collective well being of Africans in America to this very moment. Indeed, despite the civil rights/human rights “gains” achieved by the Black Freedom Struggle, the crises that continue to plague millions of Black people are incontrovertible proof that the disease of white supremacy still permeates the socio-economic and political culture, structures, institutions and systems of this society.
The fulfillment of a “more perfect union” is not possible without an unequivocal acknowledgement of/ and unqualified apology for the “original sins” committed by the European colonialists in brutally, dispossessing the Native people of their lands and the horrific enslavement of Africans to be the economic lifeblood of the “American nation;” a nation conceived to be a “White man’s land.” A more perfect union must be predicated on a new covenant which acknowledges the crimes against humanity committed by European colonialists, the “founding fathers” of this nation and their progeny, and the granting of reparations as restitution to repair and heal the damages done to Native people and Africans.
As a matter of principle, each aggrieved, affected, and offended people must speak for themselves. On behalf of our African ancestors and succeeding generations of unsung heroes and heroines who have historically kept the fight for reparations alive up until the present, which includes the following:
- General Sherman’s Field Order #15 and the promises of 40 acres
- The National Exslave Mutual Relief Bounty and Pension Association led by Sister Callie House
- The Universal Negro Improvement Association / UNIA under the leadership of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey
- The Nation of Islam under the leadership of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad
- Queen Mother Moore and her Reparations Committee of Descendants of United States Slaves, Inc.
- The Republic of New Africa / RNA and Dr. Imari Obadele
- James Forman and his Black Manifesto reparations demands
- The National Coalition of Reparations for Blacks in America / N`COBRA
- Reparations activist, “Reparations Ray” Jenkins
- Congressman John Conyers
- Massachusetts State Senator Bill Owens
- Malcolm X
- The National Black United Front / NBUF and the December 12th Movement that mobilized the Durban 400
Therefore, the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) demands that the government of this nation acknowledge the unspeakable crimes committed against African people through enslavement, the institution of chattel slavery, systems of de jure and de facto segregation and other processes of discrimination, denial and exclusion which have severely damaged Black people across generations. We further declare our intent to relentlessly pursue local and state governments and private institutions directly engaged with or complicit in these crimes.
Pursuant to the fulfillment of this historic mission, the National African American Commission, in consultation with broad representation of the Reparations Movement in America, will establish a National Reparations Trust Authority to be the repository, custodian and administrative body to receive monetary and material resources, allocated by offending parties as restitution to repair the damages inflicted on the sons and daughters of Africans in America during centuries of oppression and exploitation. The National Reparations Trust Authority will be comprised of a cross-section of credible representatives of reparations, civil rights, human rights, labor, faith, educational, civic and fraternal organizations and institutions. It will be empowered to establish subsidiary Trust Funds to administer projects and initiatives in the areas of culture, economic development, education, health and other fields as deemed appropriate based on the demands in this Reparations Program. While the National Reparations Trust Fund is envisioned as a consensus mechanism for the repository of various forms of restitution, NAARC recognizes and respects the right of other Black organizations or agencies to pursue such compensation at the local, state and national level as well.
We are resolved to educate, mobilize and organize African people and all people of conscience and goodwill to compel this nation to acknowledge and apologize for the wrongs of the past and present and to provide the massive resources required to begin the process of repair and healing. Therefore, we advance a comprehensive program for reparatory justice: