Mourning Njere Alghanee, national leader in the movement for reparations
Inspired by Ms. Alghanee's life and work, Greens reaffirm support for reparations for the descendents of slaves
WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party leaders, mourning the recent death of Njere Akosua Aminah Alghanee ('Sister Courage'), national co-chair of National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N'COBRA), reaffirmed the party's dedication to reparations for the descendants of enslaved Africans in the United States.
On June 24, Njere Alghanee had just returned from the US Social Forum in Detroit with plans to attend the annual meeting of N'COBRA in New Orleans the next day when her life was taken in a tragic auto accident. June 24, 2010 was her 58th birthday.
"The Green Party, especially the party's Black Caucus, has had a strong alliance with N'COBRA and has supported the demand for reparations. We send our condolences and solidarity with Sister Courage's family, friends, and fellow leaders in N'COBRA. We honor her leadership," said Alfred Molison, candidate for Houston City Council, District C.
Members of the Green Party in attendance at the US Social Forum and the Green Party's Annual National Meeting in Detroit heard the news on June 25. The Detroit meeting began a process of considering revisions to the Party's national Platform; including an amendment offered by the Georgia Green Party and the Green Party Black Caucus on which Ms. Alghanee had been consulted, to strengthen language supporting reparations already in the Green Party Platform.
During the Green Party's 2009 national meeting in Durham, North Carolina, the party's Black Caucus hosted a workshop presentation by the International Commission of N'COBRA, as part of "United Voices for Reparations." Members of the Black Caucus joined N'COBRA at the Congressional Black Caucus conference in September, 2009, during which Njere Alghanee, commenting on apologies offered by Congress, said "It's not enough to say sorry, you've got to do sorry."
Ms. Alghanee worked hard to promote HR 40, the bill introduced each year by Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.) calling for a study of reparations.
"It would be fitting for the US Congress to honor Njere by getting HR 40 out of committee and to the floor for a vote. That would answer the call by Njere to 'do sorry' and not just apologize for the crime against humanity that enslaved millions of people of African descent for hundreds of years in the United States," said Theresa El-Amin, North Carolina Green and Black Caucus member who was elected national co-chair of the Green Party during the Detroit meeting.
Ms. El-Amin represented the Green Party at services for Njere Alghanee, which were held on Friday at Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and Saturday at the Shrine of the Black Madonna in Atlanta. For more information about the services and a bio of Ms. Alghanee, visit "In Memory of Mama Njere".
During the July 3 celebration of the life of Njere Alghanee, Iyalosa Fulani Nandi Sunni-Ali comforted family and friends with the report of her last conversation with Ms. Alghanee on June 24. She remembered how happy Njere was on June 24, her 58th birthday and the day of her passing. The New Afrikan Women's Organization, of which Njere was a member, offered a rousing tribute to Njere that brought people to their feet.
The Green Party endorses a broad platform providing reparations for centuries of slavery and discrimination, citing destruction of identity, the theft of labor, lynch mob terrorism, de jure Jim Crow, the denial of jobs, education, housing and political rights, with current public policy still driven by a white supremacist ideology justifying COINTELPRO repression of liberation movements, police-state terrorism, and mass incarceration profiting the corporate prison industry.
"It is with great respect, humility, appreciation and gratitude to have had the opportunity to be a member of N'COBRA since the early 1990s along with our beloved Revolutionary Warrior, Sister Queen Njere Alghanee. We in the Green Party Black Caucus are determined to work with N'COBRA to lift up the legacy of Sister Queen Njere Alghanee and her call for Reparations Now!" said Morgan Moss Jr., treasurer and former co-chair of the Green Party Black Caucus.
"Sister Njere Alghanee's work on reparations is comparable to other contemporary Black women such as Ms. Hlengiwe Mkhize, former chairperson for the South Africa TRC Reparations and Rehabilitation Committee. It is imperative that we in the Green Party support the mission of N'COBRA. That mission is to win full reparations for Black African descendants of enslavement residing in the US and its territories for the genocidal war against Africans that created the transatlantic slave trade, Jim Crow and continues to injure African people in the areas of education, health care, mass incarceration and access to living wage jobs. I pledge to continue my work with and support of N'COBRA in the spirit of Queen Mother Njere Alghanee," said Cynthia McKinney, 2008 Green Party nominee for President of the United States and former Congresswoman from Georgia.
"The effects of racial discrimination, which included federal and state government policies such as residential redlining and segregated schools, services, and accommodations as well as bias by private businesses and employers, continue to this day. Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other laws prohibiting discrimination have not erased poverty, despair, and other injuries caused by centuries of racism. Reparations are a matter of basic justice," said Farheen Hakeem, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and Green candidate for Governor of Minnesota.
Njere Alghanee worked hard to eradicate poverty, transform the lives of those who survive so that they might also thrive, and create safety and affirm the humanity and autonomy of those victimized by men's violence. She was a producer at Radio Free Georgia [WRFG 89.3 FM] and a leader in the movement to secure reparations for slave-descendants, chairing N'COBRA.
"She brought a sense of urgency to our work and has left us a legacy and set an example of civic engagement that challenges us as we must now go on without her leadership," said Hugh Esco former state-wide candidate for the Georgia Green Party who also serves on the Executive Committee of Caucasians United for Reparations and Emancipation. Mr. Esco knew Ms. Alghanee since the early 1990s when they worked together with the Up and Out of Poverty Now Network (supported by the Atlanta Greens) and when she served on the staff of Georgia Citizens Coalition on Hunger.
"I know how much our Atlanta community will miss her. But her death has helped me to understand how much Sister Njere's shining light will be missed across this country and around the world," Mr. Esco added.
The Green Party held its 2010 Annual National Meeting from June 24 to 27 at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan -- where Ms. Alghanee graduated from college, near where she grew up in the New Afrikan Independence Movement in Detroit. For more information about the services and a bio of Ms. Alghanee, visit "In Memory of Mama Njere" (http://www.mamanjere.com).