The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) is the premiere mass-based coalition of organizations and individuals organized for the sole purpose of obtaining reparations for the Black descendants of the Maangamizi in the United States.
N’COBRA’s founding meeting, September 26, 1987, was convened for the purpose of broadening the base of support for the long-standing reparations movement. N’COBRA has individual members, national and local organizational members and organizational affiliates. N’COBRA has chapters, members, affiliates, and supporters throughout the U.S. and in Africa, Europe, Central and South America and the Caribbean. N’COBRA is directed nationally by a board of directors. N’COBRA’s campaigns and work is organized through national commissions, and holds an annual national membership meeting and conference to conduct the business of the Coalition as well as to evaluate and introduce new campaigns and strategies.
The Mission of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) is to win full Reparations for the Black descendants of the Maangamizi in the United States and its territories for the genocidal war against their people that created the Trans-Atlantic Slave “Trade” Chattel Slavery, Jim Crow and Chattel Slavery’s continuing vestiges. To that end, N’COBRA organizes and mobilizes all strata of these communities, into an effective mass-based reparations movement. N’COBRA also serves as a coordinating body for the reparations effort in the United States. Furthermore, through its leadership role in the reparations movement within the United States and its territories, N’COBRA recognizes reparations is a just demand and joins with others in building the international reparations movement.
The N’COBRA logo is composed of 3 Adinkra symbols whose meanings from bottom to top are:
NKONSONKONSON (Link or Chain) We are linked in life, we are linked in death, those that share common blood relations never break apart.
OWO FOR A ADOBE (Snake climbing the palm tree) Performing the unusual or impossible.
BIRIBI WO SORO (There is something in the heavens) Nyame biribi wo soro na ma embeka mensa (God there is something in the heavens, let it reach me) Symbol of hope.
NKONSONSON OWO FOR A ADOBE BIRIBI WO SORO: Together these symbols express our links in this, and the next life; that We share a common blood relation which never break apart; and that We can perform the impossible. *
Imari Obadele issues call to more than 25 organizations and individuals to come to Washington, DC to develop a definitive campaign for reparations for Blacks in the United States. Participants invited to these meetings included James Turner, Chair and Founder, Department of Africana Studies, Cornell University; Sonia Sanchez; Dorothy Benton Lewis, founder, Black Reparations Commission; Omali Yeshitali, African People’s Socialist Party; Chokwe Lumumba and Ahmed Obafemi, NAPO; Sylvia Hill and Gay McDougall, Southern Africa Support Project; Abudadika (Sonny Carson); Haywood Burns, NCBL and Dean, CUNY Law School; Omowale Satterwhite, The Community Development Institute in Palo Alto, CA; Nkechi Taifa ; Dr. Manning Marable; Aisha Muhammad; Dr. Ron Walters; Adjoa Aiyetoro; Bobby Seale; Elombe Braith, Patrice Lumumba Coalition; State Senator Henry Kirksey; Askia Muhammad, and Nzinga Warfield-Coppock. Vincent Godwin (now Kalonji Olusegun) chaired the five organizing meetings.
September 26, 1987
First organizing meetings held in D.C. at the headquarters of the Majestic Eagles.
November 8, 1987
Second organizing meeting held in D.C. at the headquarters of the Majestic Eagles.
January 16, 1988
Third organizing meeting held in Jamaica Queens at Southern Queens Park Association.
February 27, 1988
Fourth Organizing meeting held in DC at the Commission for Racial Justice. The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) is formed.
April 10, 1988
Fifth organizing meeting in Philadelphia, PA at the MarcusGarvey House. An N’COBRA acting Executive Committee was formed that included Kalonji Olusegun, Imari Obadele, Nana Seshibe, James Turner, and Adjoa Aiyetoro. Washington, D.C. was chosen as the headquarters.
April 8, 1989
First N’COBRA Town Hall Meeting held at he Frank D. Reeves Center, in Washington, DC. Speakers include Senator Bill Owens, of Michigan, Kalonji Olusegun, Nkechi Taifa, Chokwe Lumumba, Imari Obadele and Adjoa Aiyetoro.
N’COBRA receives a letter from Congressman John Conyers, of Detroit, Michigan, requesting the organization’s review and comment on a legislative summary that he planned to incorporate in a bill to be introduced to the House of Representatives.
July 8, 1989
N’COBRA convenes a public meeting at the Reeves Center, in Washington, DC to discuss and respond to Congressman Conyers’ request.
Reparations Awareness Day – Reparations Awareness Day grew out of N’COBRA increasing reparation promotion doing Black History Month in the early 1990’s. In the early days some promoted it as “Reparations Awareness and Action Day,” making it clear that it is not a “holiday” but a day to be active building the movement. All N’COBRA’s chapters and members were encouraged to do work to raise the awareness of the movement, especially in the Black community across the country
N’COBRA Chapters have obtained resolutions from numerous legislative bodies and national organizations. In September 1989. Nkechi Taifa moderates the first of many Congressional Black Caucus Braintrusts on Reparations, hosted by Congressman Conyers. Panelists also include Kalonji Olusegun and Dorothy Benton Lewis.
November 20, 1989
Congressman Conyers introduced H.R. 40 to the House of Representatives.
First N’COBRA annual Reparation Conference is held at Howard University, National Co-Chairs are Kalonji Olusegun and Adjoa Aiyetoro, Esq. Special guest, State Senator Bill Owens, discussed the reparations bill he introduced in the Massachusetts State Legislature.
Nkechi Taifa, as chair of the DC Chapter of NCBL, requests the DC Council to issue a resolution in support of Reparations through the Honorable Wilhemina J. Rolark, Chair of the Judiciary Committee. The DC Council issues a resolution.
Washington, DC N’COBRA Chapter organizes a Reparations Awareness Campaign that resulted in two more Congressional co-sponsors of H.R.40.
May 1, 2001
Reparations For Africans: N’COBRA internet listerv. The largest reparations listserv on the internet gave N’COBRA and the reparations movement space to disseminate local national and international information.
September 21, 2001
Washington, DC N’COBRA hosts a Town Hall Meeting to Celebrate N’COBRA’s successful lobbying efforts during the World Conference Against Racism, in Durban South Africa. The Conference acknowledges the “Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade is a crime against humanity.” Panelists include Adjoa Aiyetoro, Dorothy Benton Lewis, current Co-Chair of National N’COBRA, Nkechi Taifa, Dr. Ron Walters; Joe Leonard, Rainbow Push Coalition; Fahima Seck, Howard University; and Damu Smith, Black Voices For Peace.
BLACK FRIDAYS is a national N’COBRA program that was approved by the Board of Directors in April 2002 for August 16, 2002 and expanded by the Board of Directors in the September 2002 Board Retreat to be an ongoing project. N’COBRA “Black Fridays” national campaign for business membership and community involvement to patronize Black businesses
A Year of Black Presence (AYBP): In June 2001, AYBP, a pilot program was launched in Philadelphia by Milt McGriff, to mobilize Reparations activists on Capitol Hill. Since its inception, AYBP has mobilized thousands of reparations activists to Washington, DC to agitate Congress for support of HR 40, to establish a commission to study slavery in America and its present day impact on African Americans and determine appropriate remedies. Representative John Conyers, sponsor of HR 40, since 1989, credits AYBP with elevating the Reparations discussion in the Congress
August 16, 2002
N’COBRA National Reparation Rally and Forum: panelists and speakers included, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam; Dr. Imari Obadele, Founder of N’COBRA; Queen Mother Dorothy Benton-Lewis, Nat’l Co-Chair N’COBRA; Dr. Maulanna Karenga, The Organization Us; Ms. Adjoa Aiyetoro, N’COBRA Legal Strategy Commission; Mr. Omali Yeshitela of the African People’s Socialist Party; Mr. Charles Ogletree, Reparations Co-Coordinating Committee; Mr. Malik Z. Shabazz, The New Black Panther Party; Dr. Conrad Worrill, National Black United Front; Mr. Senghor Baye, UNIA; Mr. Gary Grant, Black Farmers Assn; Mr. Ron Daniels, Institute of the Black World and many more. the largest rally/forum (3,000 est. attended) held by N’COBRA.
September 15, 2002
NCOBRA.org, N’COBRA first official website. For over 15 years it was the largest and leading reparations website for information and research.
October 2, 2002
Afrikan and Afrikan Descendants World Conference, Bridgetown, Barbados: The conference grew out of UN World Conference Against Racism (2001), Durban, South Africa, where the African Holocaust of Enslavement was declared a crime against humanity. As in World Conference Against Racism, N’COBRA delegation (QM Dorothy, Wautella IbnYusuf, Kibibi Tyehimba, QM Mashariki & Kamau Jywanza and Dr. Ray Winbush) play a leading role in the in the Reparations Work Group and helped edit the conference official report, “The Bridgetown Protocol”
June 18, 2004
N’COBRA Organizations Leadership Roundtable, Howard University, DC: 28 national and regional organizations sent representatives; reported their work and made a National Reparations Coalition Agenda (June 2004- June 2005)
October 15, 2005
America Must Atone: Reparations Now!, Million Man March/Day of Atonement: A national campaign leading up to and during the 10th anniversary of the MMM march in DC. Focused on mobilizing for reparation during the anniversary march, included Reparations lawn signs, t-shirts, bumper stickers, reparations flyers & handouts