top of page

Reparations Central

Afrodescendant Leaders Seek Recognition, Unity, and Reparations for Descendants of Enslaved Africans

Mr. Muhammad  Ishmael

In a powerful testimony presented to the 32nd Session of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, the leaders of All for Reparations and Emancipations (AFRE/CURE) have called for the recognition, unity, and reparations for Afrodescendants—the descendants of enslaved Africans. Addressing the Honorable Members of the Working Group, AFRE/CURE highlighted the ongoing challenges faced by Afrodescendants, including the loss of cultural identity, self-determination, and the violation of their human rights. This article aims to shed light on their plea for acknowledgment and reparatory justice.

The Struggle for Identity and Rights:

Afrodescendants, as a distinct group, have endured the transgenerational effects of enslavement, which has resulted in the deprivation of their fundamental human rights. The legacy of slavery has stripped them of their mother tongues, religious practices, family legacies, and cultural identities. The profound loss of their original human identity has been replaced with a dehumanizing "slave" identity, perpetuating a sense of disconnection and cultural erasure. This assault on their human rights continues to persist, hindering their pursuit of unity and self-determination.

Recognition as Afrodescendants:

The efforts of Afrodescendant leaders to establish a collective identity and gain recognition as a distinct People have been fruitful with the support of the United Nations. In forums facilitated by the former UN bodies, including the Working Group on Minorities, Sub-Commission, and Commission on Human Rights, leaders from across the slavery diaspora were able to come together and seek recognition under the identity of Afrodescendants. This recognition marked an important milestone in their quest for self-determination and reparations.

Challenges to Unity and Recognition:

The struggle for unity and recognition faced significant obstacles within the United States. During the 1960s, when Black leaders sought to nationalize and mobilize, the US Government intervened through COINTELPRO, effectively suppressing the human rights movement. This intervention violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), as it obstructed the People's right to unify and establish their identity. Despite these challenges, Afrodescendants remain resolute in their pursuit of self-determination and reparations.

Ethnogenesis and Plebiscite:

Presently, Afrodescendant leaders are organizing various reparations organizations across the US and the Americas under the umbrella of the Afrodescendant Nation. This collective effort aims to revitalize their cultural and ethnic identities after centuries of suppression and cultural death. As part of this process, leaders are exploring avenues to conduct a plebiscite, reinforcing their commitment to self-determination and comprehensive reparations.

The Role of the Working Group:

AFRE/CURE urges the Working Group on People of African Descent to lend its support in fostering unity among Afrodescendant Peoples. With Afrodescendants scattered across North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean Islands, communication and collaboration among leaders are crucial. The Working Group has the opportunity to facilitate dialogue and meetings that would address the subjects of unity, reparations, and self-determination. By recognizing Afrodescendants as a distinct People and acknowledging their right to self-determination and reparations, the Working Group can contribute significantly to their ongoing struggle for justice.

A Call for Recognition and Restitution:

In conclusion, AFRE/CURE's testimony emphasizes the urgent need for recognition, unity, and reparations for Afrodescendants. Their plea seeks to restore the dignity, cultural heritage, and human rights of a People whose African identity was deliberately destroyed during the era of enslavement. As Afrodescendants embark on a journey of ethnogenesis, reclaiming their roots and forging a collective identity, the support and engagement of international bodies such as the Working Group on People of African Descent becomes pivotal in their pursuit of justice and reparatory measures.

bottom of page