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His prescriptions hearken back to Malcolm X who advocated

internationalizing the struggle of Afro-Americans




 Books by Amiri Baraka

Tales of the Out & the Gone  / The Essence of Reparations / Somebody Blew Up America & Other Poems  / Blues People

 Autobiography of LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka / Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones / Black Music

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Review of Amiri Baraka's The Essence of Reparations

By Deborah D. Moseley


Mr. Baraka's book on Reparations gives a thorough explanation on what Reparations is all about and a blueprint on how to best realize it.  First and foremost, Reparations is not just a mere paycheck; it is about a wronged peoples' right to Self-determination, at long last manifesting the Emancipation Proclamation, reversing the damage done by President Andrew Johnson who succeeded President Lincoln and eliminated the Freedman's Bureau and allowed the seditious South to re-enter the Union without pledging allegiance to it thereby setting a precedence for the Confederate Flag to remain atop public buildings and to impose a brutal proto-fascist regime upon Afro-Americans (which is how Mr. Baraka refers to Black people), establishing an Afro-American Central Bank to deposit the myriads of much entitled monetary compensations to be collected for the humiliating and de-humanizing wholesale free labor, murder, theft, character assassination, rape, kidnapping, and enslavement heaped upon the ancestors and descendents of said people and dispersing those funds to rebuild and repair their communities and infrastructures, making their existence whole and rendering them finally emancipated. 

His prescriptions hearken back to Malcolm X who advocated internationalizing the struggle of Afro-Americans along with other people worldwide who were and still are oppressed by American and European Capitalism, Imperialism, and Institutional Racism, e.g., Africans, Mexicans, Native Americans, and the people of India. Along with Afro-Americans, these are also people who are due reparations, and it would behoove them to unite.  He quotes Chairman Mao Zedong who proclaimed the unity of the many to defeat the few.  Like Malcolm X, he recommends allying with working class poor who have been and are still being exploited by elite Corporatists and Imperialists who have co-opted and corrupted the Labor Unions. 

And like Malcolm X, he has deduced that all oppressed people, Black and poor White, have a common enemy, that being the egregious Capitalists and Imperialists who have kept the Whites psychotically inebriated with White Supremacy in order to keep them from uniting with dark-skinned people who suffer similar ignominies.  Certainly, Reparations for Afro-Americans can not come about within a Capitalist and Imperialist system designed to keep the masses oppressed, brainwashing them into believing they are living in a democracy and the best system ever created, and Mr. Baraka has shown with admirable precision how Americans have been grossly mis-educated with regards to this concept. 

"Democracy" is a Greek word, literally meaning "People rule," and to have Mr. Baraka expound upon it so explicitly, the people definitely do not rule; the Corporate and Imperialist Oligarchy does, usurping and depleting the wealth and other earthly resources that belong to the people, draining the people emotionally, mentally, physically, and monetarily.  In other words: the masses are being robbed blind as the Oligarchists and their venal political partners in crime who we elect have convinced us to function within the parameters of that system that was never designed to liberate the masses. Mr. Baraka, quite justifiably, does not advocate maintaining the status quo.  The present Capitalist and Imperialist system must be replaced by a system that is just and is designed to benefit the populace. In Mr. Baraka's erudite estimation, such a system would enable the manifestation of Reparations.

If anyone wants to understand the full meaning of Reparations and why "Reparations Now!" is an imperative for the 21st century, this miniscule, concise exposé is the book to read.    Coming from an intellectual, the reader can acquire some exotic vocabulary, e.g., "comprador," and a novel way to use the term "dictatorship." The prose gets a bit complex at times and may require some dissection to get the meaning, but still the "essence" is not lost:  "Reparations Now!"

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Beethoven, the Black Spaniard  Sam Cooke and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart   Review of Amiri Baraka's Essence of Reparations

Deborah D. Moseley

i reside in charleston, s.c., where i began my piano study at the age of seven and have taught music education at the elementary, middle and high school levels for over 20 years.  i have a bachelor of music degree in piano performance and a master of arts in teaching degree, both from winthrop college in rock hill, s.c. currently, after having neglected playing the piano for over ten years, i am taking a hiatus from teaching so i can devote more time to rebuilding my technique and repertoire. 

my past performances have included a solo concert at the college of charleston, and at the sottile theatre here in charleston i presented the piano works of the black composers r. nathaniel dett and samuel coleridge- taylor for a black history month celebration.  as a child, my parents played a variety of music genres in the home:  jazz, r&b and classical, so i appreciate all styles of music.  however, when it comes to performing it, i'm partial to classical;  it's just 'me'.  i developed and interest in writing after i read 'the autobiography of malcolm x' and when i'm inspired, i enjoy writing about music, history and politics. some of my favorite hobbies are reading and doll collecting.

posted 19 January 2007

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



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#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

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#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
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#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

By Randall Kennedy

Among the best things about The Persistence of the Color Line is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the positions about Mr. Obama staked out by black commentators on the left and right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley. He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr. Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism regarding whether blacks should back Obama” . . .

The finest chapter in The Persistence of the Color Line is so resonant, and so personal, it could nearly be the basis for a book of its own. That chapter is titled “Reverend Wright and My Father: Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”  Recalling some of the criticisms of America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with feeling about his own father, who put each of his three of his children through Princeton but who “never forgave American society for its racist mistreatment of him and those whom he most loved.”  His father distrusted the police, who had frequently called him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical light.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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Home  Reparations Table / Religion & Politics /  Amiri Baraka Table / Music  Musicians

Related files:  Haitians Demand Reparations  Haiti Makes Its Case for Reparations  Race and Reparations   Race Racism Reparations  Reparations for Darfur  Reparations and the Pan-African War on Genocide  

Review of Essence of Reparations   Reparations Bill of 1967   Why We Owe Them  Delivering Good News to the Oppressed  The Political Thought of James Forman  Control, Conflict, and Change