The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks

The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks

by Randall Robinson
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The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks by Randall Robinson

The national bestseller by the author of Defending the Spirit.

In this powerful and controversial book, distinguished African-American political leader and thinker Randall Robinson argues for the restoration of the rich history that slavery and segregation severed. Drawing from research and personal experience, he shows that only by reclaiming their lost past and proud heritage can blacks lay the foundation for their future. And white Americans can make reparations for slavery and the century of racial discrimination that followed with monetary restitution, educational programs, and the kinds of equal opportunities that will ensure the social and economic success of all its citizens.

In a book that is both an unflinching indictment of past wrongs and an impassioned call to our nation to educate all Americans about the history of Africa and its people, Robinson makes a persuasive case for the debt white America owes blacks, and the debt blacks owe themselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780452282100
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/2001
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 182,589
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

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.

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Debt: What America Owes to Blacks 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Randall Robinson's "The Debt: What America Owes To Blacks" lays out a very cogent and compelling argument in defense of some form of reparations to its Black citizens. Beginning with an overview of African culture pre-slavery, Robinson contends that the issues Black Americans face even in the present can be traced directly to the evil brutality of the slave trade, thus making the 246 years of slavery and subsequent 100 years of Jim Crow, segregation, lynching, and disenfranchisement an anomaly in the course of human affairs. While I am not 100% convinced of the efficacy of any kind of reparations, this book has brought me closer to being an advocate for it than I ever would have imagined.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book changed my life! Robinson speaks with grace and passion. Finally, the truth. Please read this book and pass it along. Mr. Robinson, I salute you. Your book is a breath of fresh air.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is an eye opener for people of the African Diaspora. Mr.Robinson tells it like it is with neither apology, nor radical rethoric.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never heard or read such biased writing in my life. Robinson says that he is merely defending the black population, but in the mean-time credits himself for the civili rights movement. He plays the victim when he was never a slave and never even faught for civil rights. He also says that he himself should recieve some kind of compensation and used Jews as an example. However, what he failed to notice is that the Jews that lived through the Holocuast got compensation. Not their ancesters. Why should my children have to pay him for what their ancesters did to his ancesters? And as if affimative action hasn't already granted his people, in modern society, privaleges over whites. Modern society is what counts, too because it is where he lives and what counts. And whether he spells it out or not, he definately accuses all white people of wrong-doing. He is trying to make everything that is wrong with him into prejudice. I am surprised that in our society today someone could prejudice against others the way Robinson has. How much more can he ask for??
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
America owes nothing to black people America voted a black man to be president and he has done more harm than good! Obama has been the worst president that America has ever elected!!!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book although not rhetoric does not talk about the diffrent races involved servitude. How the Cubans, African-Americans, English (somewhat, not all) contributed to their own demise of culture. Retribution like the culture of Jews and American-Indians are partaking being paid for their own situation. Move on and UP. We are either a Union Of States or Individual States. The art of decision making is not taken away as before. We are either a one or divided. Pick you place of comfort, stay or go (all ethnicity).
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is long overdue. Mr. Robinson, in this book, explains why reparations and a historical unearthing are so important. The problem with the reparations debate is that too many people stop just at slavery. As Mr. Robinson points out in this book,the 100 years of de jure discrimination that followed slavery also hurt African-Americans tremendously. So the argument that a lot of people use that there is no one alive today that should get reparations today is wrong. Really, reparations should have been awarded right after slavery ended. But in a devilish twist of irony, following slavery there was legislation on the books that would have provided reimbursement for slaveholders who lost slaves and not for those who were exploited.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Due to this country's history, America may never be a place where race is NOT an issue due simply to the fact that there is a lack of true equity and effort to right centuries of inhumane transgression of one people towards another. Although there may be no present-day Caucasian slave-holders in the US, the inheritors of their wealth and privilege ARE here. Although there may be no black people in shackles working for free (besides prison chain gangs), the inheritors of that era of emasculation and dehumanization ARE here. The legacy of slavery is such a pervading part of our culture that we cannot be naive enough to think that almost 3 centuries of history's most brutal form of systemic, physical, and psychological slavery can be remedied overnight (in one-third of the time).The cat that gave Robinson's book a one-star rating ('Prejudice')obviously didn't read it and/or is seriously deluded if he thinks that black people are going to inherit the Earth through affirmative action and welfare; in fact, the statement is rather laughable. And second off, if Robinson's work through his organization TransAfrica does not represent his participation in the Civil Rights movement, I don't know what does; the movement was and is not limited to the 1960's and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Anyway, this book is one to be read and studied for what it truly offers: solutions and a way to truly end racial inequities and injustices in the United States. I don't think that any true American has a problem with that...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a 40 year old Black man employed as a Safety Officer in one of America's inner cities. Black folks have paid the highest price of any group, except possibly the Native Americans, as pointed out by Mr. Robinson. Black folks have been brainwashed or should I say whitewashed into believing that we are a people who have not contributed to this society. Black folks have paid the ultimate price in the building of America.Millions of lives were lost and ruined with 300 years of slavery and a 100 years of Jim Crow. Our tongue, our history and our since of identity were taken away.Mr.Robinson does a masterful job of explaining the importance of knowledge of self. I don't know of any group of people who are more worthy of reparations than Black people in America. It's an insult to offer 30 years of affirmative action for 400 years of hell as a way to offset the evil deeds inflicted upon Black folks. I pose this question to you the reader.If you had a business that had 30 years of free labor (let alone 300 passed down from generation to generation)and your business was a success, wouldn't you feel a debt was owed those laborers or their hiers? Thank you Mr. Robinson for such an honest portrait of the journey of Black people in America and how we arrived at the state we now reside.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is long overdue because it brings to the surface a page in American History that has been suppressed and virtually ignored by white Americans especially. The subject of reparations is not new but it needs a modern version and Mr. Robinson gives it to us beautifully and courageously. Thank God for people like Mr. Robinson who walks the talk and is willing to sacrifice the 'perks' of being a well-behaved Negro like the Clarence Thomases and the Alan Keyes of this wicked society. Slavery was a crime committed against the African people and the only remedy is to compensate the victims in one way or another. I would suggest readers to also check out Eric Williams' book: Capitalism and Slavery to begin to understand how much is really owed to us after over three centuries of involuntary servitude. May God bless you, Mr. Robinson. I hope every African gets a hold of this book and reads it so we can begin a global effort to sue the European countries that benefitted from the slave trade: Portugal, Spain, England, Holland, France and yes, the United States of America. No one can request something that they do not deserve. After 300 years of hell on earth, affirmative action is an insult not a corrective measure.