This is the mantra of the reparations movement, the sociopolitical
campaign asking for restitution for descendants of slaves,
which held a rally this past Saturday at the Millions for
Reparations March outside of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Reparations demands not only a national apology from the U.S.
government for the ills African-Americans endured throughout
slavery, but restitution paid to the descendants of slaves
from the profits various U.S. companies accrued from unpaid
Though attendees at the weekend march didn’t number in the
millions of its namesake, many were happy with the turnout.
Muata Currie of the Capital District Reparations Mobilization
Committee, which chartered a bus bringing 25 people to the
rally, was impressed with the number of groups attending from
across the country.
was a very festive atmosphere with a lot of organizations
and related causes handing out literature and vendors selling
books,” Currie said. “The purpose of a rally like this is
to gather information, energize and head back to your community
The monetary ends are being sought through a number of lawsuits
to be brought against U.S. companies like Aetna, New York
Life, American International Group, J.P. Morgan, Chase Manhattan
Bank and FleetBoston Financial Group by a reparations coordinating
committee featuring prominent black scholars and lawyers like
Cornel West, Charles Ogletree, Randall Robinson and Johnnie
is a lot of skepticism about the lawsuits,” Currie said. “America
doesn’t have a good reputation for being just with its black
citizens. In the most strict sense, African-American people
can’t be paid back for the miseries of slavery, but this isn’t
just about an amount of money, restitution is about repair.”
Currie said there is a lot of talk among those in the restitution
community as to what should be done next to further the movement.
It is important for all progressive-minded people to continue
pushing the issue with local governmental leaders, he said.
improvements for blacks in America have come through great
social pressure and a variety of tactics,” Currie said. “Twenty-five
years ago, this was a laughable idea, but look where we are
today. To have an educated mass of people will change things.”
the archives: Alice Green.
Photo by Scott Gries
Look up Alice
University at Albany announced last week the acquisition of
the life’s work of Dr. Alice Green, including her writings,
career activities and history of events since 1965. The Green
collection, which will comprise 3.5 cubic feet of materials,
will become a part of the M.E. Grenander Department of Special
Collections and Archives, which is housed at the New Library
Building located in the uptown campus of the university.
am delighted and flattered that they would ask me to give
them my material,” said Green. “The bottom line is that I
hope it can be useful, and if the public and students can
find this information and these materials valuable, then that
The collection will follow Green’s career as a criminologist
from her days as a graduate student at the university up to
her present position as founder and executive director for
the Center for Law and Justice. The center is an Albany-based
organization that works to educate and advocate for poor communities
and communities of color, so that they can effectively participate
in social and political change.
just an incredible enrichment to our archives,” said Brian
Keough, head of the Grenander Special Collections and Archives.
“Her papers augment our other collections, including National
Death Penalty Archives, that are related to her career and
Green has been active in the criminal justice system in New
York State since she graduated from the university. She is
known best for her dedication to prison reform and her advocacy
work on behalf of prisoners’ rights. She also ran for Lieutenant
Governor in 1998 on the Green Party ticket, with a platform
emphasis on a progressive approach to criminal justice.
took me a while to decide to give up my material,” said Green.
“For some reason you think you ought to hold onto it. Hopefully,
it can be useful to people who are trying to understand the
history of our community and understand a different perspective
on the issues that we have been dealing with in criminal justice
for a place to voice your dissent over issues related to the
war on terror? How about the war in Afghanistan, racial profiling
of Muslims, the pending war in Iraq, or the ongoing standoff
between Israel and Palestine? A new local radio program, which
will air for the first time this Friday from 5 to 6 PM on
WRPI, looks to provide such a forum. The show, titled Capital
District for Justice and Peace Free Palestine Radio, was expected
to launch last Friday but was delayed one week due to technical
The hour-long program intends to give the public an appropriate
place to hold discussions concerning a plethora of topics
here in the United States and abroad.
Yunus Fiske, the show’s founder and host, said that he hopes
that listeners will hear alternative perspectives, ones that
are not readily heard in the mainstream media, about a variety
don’t think that the mainstream media does a good job at covering
many situations, and people are only getting one perspective
on things,” explained Fiske.
For example, he cites the situation between Israel and Palestine.
think that if you are against Israel’s occupation of Palestine,
then you are supporting terrorism or you want Israel to fall
into the sea,” said Fiske. “That is just not the case. The
hope is that people will listen to different points of view,
and have a better understanding of where people are coming
from and hear different perspectives about all of these issues
that affect our lives. In many instances, people want the
same thing, which is peace.”
The call-in program is open to anyone, as long as they are
respectful and rational, and refrain from profanity. Call
WRPI at 276-6247 on Fridays from 5 to 6 if you care to join