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The Debt
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About the Author

Randall Robinson is the founder and president of TransAfrica, the organization that spearheaded the movement to influence U.S. policies toward international black leadership. He is the author of Defending the Spirit: A Black Life in America, The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks and The Reckoning: What Blacks Owe To Each Other. Frequently featured in major print media, he has appeared on Charlie Rose, Today, Good Morning America, and the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, among others.

Reviews

As founder and president of TransAfrica, an organization aimed at influencing U.S. policies toward Africa and the Caribbean, Robinson can be said to have contributed to the antiapartheid movement and the restoration of democracy in Haiti. Having vividly outlined the pervasiveness of American racism in his previous work, Defending the Spirit, he now summons America to acknowledge what he casts as its financial obligation to blacks for centuries of slavery and continued subjugation. Substantiating his analysis of America's ignorance of African history and the agenda of the Clinton administration with personal stories that illustrate the impact of de facto discrimination, he reveals slavery's legacy not only in our social and political lives, but also in the American psyche. In Robinson's view, the incessant deification of the founding fathers (many of whom owned slaves) and the denial of the benefits gained from centuries of slave labor are, in effect, an attempt to pretend "that America's racial holocaust never occurred." Juxtaposing domestic racism with the sufferings of people abroad, he contends that America's dubious foreign policy initiatives in Cuba and throughout the black world should be mitigated through debt relief. Methodically tackling one issue at a time, Robinson suggests the creation of a trust to assist in the educational and economic empowerment of African-Americans. Whether readers agree or disagree with his views, Robinson has made a definitive step in presenting these controversial and still unresolved issues. Book club rights sold to Doubleday/Black Expressions; author tour. (Jan.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

The founder of TransAfrica, an organization aiming to influence U.S. policies toward Africa and the Caribbean, argues that racial harmony will be achieved here only when blacks are compensated for slavery through social programs. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Praise for The Debt

"A tour de force...Heartfelt, impassioned."--Emerge"Incisive...keenly observed, perceptively written."--The Philadelphia Inquirer "In a manner strikingly reminiscent of James Baldwin, Robinson combines acute insight, attention to the obvious but overlooked, and unpretentious breadth of vision."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Provocative...Lays out the logic behind reparations and addresses the issue from an economic standpoint."--Chicago Sun-Times

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