Category Archives: Oral History Project

About the Reparations Scholar-Activism of Esther Stanford-Xosei

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About me

Esther Stanford-Xosei is a jurisconsult (legal specialist in jurisprudence), reparationist, (reparations activist), dynamic community advocate and historian. She is a modern day abolitionist and freedom fighter, passionate about law, justice and education and using those as tools in resisting forms or oppression and injustice. Carrying on the legacy of Afrikan freedom movements, she is preoccupied with Afrikan Self-Determination from a contemporary Black Nationalist perspective.

She is a champion of reparations as repair, sighting self-repair as being the cornerstone of any people’s process of self-empowerment and restoration of agency (control, empowerment, self-determination). Ultimately transforming, ourselves, families’, communities’, nation and the world in order to leave this earth better than we found it.

For Esther, the International Social  Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) is not about victimhood and begging colonisers or oppressors for money, but about restoring a people’s human right to be repaired and for them to take charge of that process of doing so. Her work is about recognising the continuing harm of the Maangamizi (Afrikan Hellacaust) and stopping that harm today as ‘guarantees of non-repetition’. By stopping forms of systemic and structural injustice rooted in the Maangamizi, she believes we can begin the process of reconstruction and repair. Her focus is on stopping genocide and ecocide as well as the extraction of wealth and resources from oppressed peoples today as a first step to reclaiming what is owed to such peoples who continue to be dispossessed intergenerationally.

She is an advocate for the collective protection of Global Pan-Afrikan nationhood and the elevation of the feminine principle as part of the transformation process. She has dedicated her life to the struggle, motivated by her desire to leave a better world for future generations.

Esther is currently completing a PhD in the history of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations in the UK at the university of Chichester.


About my activism

Some of the most salient aspects of my organising experience in reparations related organisations, structures and processes as part of the resurgent International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) include serving as:

• Co-Vice Chair, with Kofi Mawuli Klu, of PARCOE (Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe) since 2001.

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• N’COBRA (National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America) Europe Regional Representative and member of N’COBRA International Affairs Commission (NIAC) between 2001 and 2005.

ESX QMD

With Nana Yaa Asantewaa Ohema aka Queen Mother Dorothy Benton Lewis (Oravouche), Co-Founder N’COBRA


ESX OMARI OBADELE

With Baba Imari Obadele Co-Founder N’COBRA

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• Between 2001 and 2002, I was the Coordinator of FAADAR (Forum of Afrikan & Afrikan Descendants Against Racism) which mobilised the UK delegation to attend the AADWCAR, organised by the Congress Against Racism (Barbados) in association with the Commission of Pan-African Affairs.

ESX FIGHT TO BRITS

Article dated September 29, 2002, by Andrea King writing in the (Barbados) Sunday Sun, page 11A

• In 2002, I became the UK/Europe Region Representative of the 10 member International Steering Committee of the African & African Descendants World Conference Against Racism (AADWCAR), the official follow-up to the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination & Related Intolerance (WCAR), which took place in Barbados. It was at this conference that the International Front for African Reparations (IFAR) was formed and an international strategy developed to initiate legal action for reparations in various Western nations. Arising from this mandate, on 05/05/93, the Black Quest for Justice Campaign (BQJC), in association with PARCOE, (Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe), the Global Afrikan Congress (GAC) and the Black United Front Parliament (BUF-P) initiated the UK strategy to “effect” Pan-Afrikan Reparations by initiating a lawsuit (2003) against the British Head of State and the British Government. This date was chosen in honour and commemoration of the Early Day Motion on the Abuja Proclamation regarding support for Reparations to Afrikans initiated by the late Bernie Grant MP ten years prior on 5th May 2003. I was involved in BQJC, PARCOE and the GAC at the time and played a significant role in the development of this legal and extra-legal strategy.

BG

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Not our choice of headline!

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CCI21082017_0021 (2)

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Delegation from the UK which participated in the AADWCAR

• I was a Co-founder of the Global Afrikan Congress (GAC). Between 2002 and 2003 I was the Europe Regional Co-Representative of GAC; a position which was shared with Dr Barryl Biekman (Netherlands).

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• Between 2003 and 2007 I was the Co-founder and General Secretary of the Afrikan-led cross-community abolitionist heritage learning network, Rendezvous of Victory (ROV) between. ROV partnered with Antislavery International (ASI) to host the first official London Commemorations of 23rd August, the UN  Day to commemorate the struggle against slavery and its Abolition in 2003. In 2004 ROV also organised London commemorations of 23rd August which were supported by the Greater London Authority (GLA). The launch of the ROV 2004 programme themed: Commemorations 2004 – 2007: Time to Resolve the Big Question of Reparations was also supported by former Home Office Minister, Fiona Mc Taggert MP who featured at the launch event. After being lobbied by ROV, Fiona McTaggert initiated a debate on slavery in the House of Commons in October 2004 where reparations were mooted.

LETS TALK SLAVERY 2

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• Between 2004 and 2013 I was a Board member of Antislavery International (ASI). ASI was the first white-led NGO to develop a pro-reparations policy position in the UK.

• In 2004, I led a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe and represented the Black United Front at the National Liberation Conference which took place in Harare in April 2004. The BUF, the December 12th Movement (USA) and the Aboriginal Nations and Peoples of Australia were the only delegates at the conference that represented Diaspora groupings from outside Afrika.

ESX BUF

One of my favourite pieces of activist ephemera from the BUF fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe in 2004. Taken from the Herald Newspaper

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ZIM 2

MUGABE

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• In 2005, ROV initiated, in partnership with and the World Development Movement (now called Global Justice Now) the 2007 ‘Bicentenary of the Parliamentary Abolition of the Slave Trade Act Cross Community Forum’(CCF) which operated between 2005 and 2007. The CCF brought a wide diversity of people and interest groups, from within civil society and state, together to debate, challenge and confront ideas and opinions on issues concerning Britain’s role in under-developing Afrika and the Caribbean and effecting reparations for the Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Afrikans (TTEE) and colonialism. It also strengthened activist and NGO networking in galvanising broad engagement on policy, campaigns and strategies as part of taking action to redress the legacies of chattel, colonial and neo-colonial forms of enslavement today.

• Due to my role in ROV, I became a co-founder and member of the Global Justice Forum (GJF) in 2007. The Global Justice Forum (GJF) is a UK-based, Afrikan-led, cross-community network working across sectors to amplify grassroots voices in campaigning for social change. Formed in 2007, the GJF arose out of the 2007 Bicentenary Cross Community Forum. Its central focus is to promote abolitionist heritage action learning (learning through doing) as one of the prime components of bringing about global justice. Abolitionist heritage is the heritage of movements and campaigns which seek to abolish systems of racial, economic, political and cultural domination and all other forms of injustice by challenging beliefs which maintain their existence and replacing them with more humane and effective systems. One of the GJF’s key areas of work focuses on reparations popular education, action learning and cross community mobilisation which promotes activist knowledge gained as a result of reparations activism and advocates the potential of reparations to bring about fundamental structural transformation and global justice for all.

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• Between 2003 and 2006, I was the former Secretary General of the Black United Front-Parliament (BUF-P). Under the coalition’s auspices, I co-produced with Kofi Mawuli Klu, the UK version of the historic 1951 ‘We Charge Genocide Petition’ also championed by the National Black United front (NBUF) in the USA which since 2015 has evolved to become the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide’ Petition of the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC), of which I am the Coordinator-General.

GENOCIDE ACCUSATION

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• In 2006, as the UK representative of the N’COBRA, International Affairs Commission and Co-Vice Chair of PARCOE, I was a co-organiser and Coordinator for UK/Europe of the Global Pan-Afrikan Reparations Conference held in Ghana with the theme: ‘Create the Future: Transformation, Reparations, Repatriation, and Reconciliation’ (from 22/07/06 – 01/08/06). This conference was the second global Pan-Afrikan Reparations conference held in Afrika following the historic 1993, ‘First Conference on Reparations for Enslavement, Colonialism and Neo-colonialism’ held in Abuja, Nigeria under the auspices of the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

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• In 2006, I visited Libya as part of a UK delegation that attended the ‘First General People’s Congress for African Youth and Civil Organisations Inside and Outside the Continent’ in the Libyan capital, Tripoli from 26-28 and represented the cause of Afrikan Reparatory Justice in our group dialogue with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The summit brought over 1500 Afrikan youth leaders from the Continent and Diaspora. It made the United Afrikan States the topical theme for Pan-Afrikanists at the start of the new millennium. The idea of United Afrikan States has been around for nearly two centuries – leaders such as Marcus Garvey, Emperor Haile Selassie, Kwame Nkrumah, proposed this. In the following picture I am asking Colonel Gaddafi about his support for Afrikan reparations. The delegation was coordinated by Kesheni CCI and the Nile Youth Project.

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BAN DENIAL OF AFRIKAN HOLOCAUST

FREEDOM FIGHTER

Daily Telegraph 28/11/06


2007

Collective protest which took place outside of Westminster Abbey when on 27 March 2007 to commemorate Bicentenary of the 1807 British Parliamentary Abolition of the Slave Trade Act


FREEDOM 1

New Nation Newspaper 26/06/06

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• In 2007, I provided the keynote ‘Africa Day Message’ for the Barbados Government’s Commission of Pan-African Affairs Africa Day Rally.

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Taken from the Advocate Newspaper (Barbados)


UGLY TURN TO RALLY

Newspaper report of incident at the ‘Africa Day’ Rally on 25 May 2007

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ESX DONT GIVE IN TO BRITAIN

• In 2010, I initiated the historic employment tribunal case at the Central London Employment Tribunal: Esther Stanford-Xosei v the Women’s Resource Centre. It was my contention that I was constructively dismissed from the organisation on multiple and intersecting grounds of race, religious and philosophical belief as well as my sexual orientation. It was my assertion that that my position as a policy officer was rendered untenable due to my race and ethnicity; advocacy of Black Feminism/s within a white-led organisation with an explicit value of Feminism; my heterosexuality; and heterosexist-racist assumptions about my faith praxis as a adherent of Afrikan Diaspora Religion – a personal synthesis of my Afrikan Hebrew Diaspora cultural heritage, religious and spiritual beliefs. I advocated that this case was a reparations case.

• Between 2012 and 2015 I was the Co-Chair of the iNAPP (Interim National Afrikan People’s Parliament), Co-Chair of iNAPP Legal & Constitutional Subcommittee and co-initiator of the iNAPP Community Law Study, Dialogue & Action Circle between 2012 and 2015. Under my co-leadership with Kofi Mawuli Klu, iNAPP collaborated with the Rastafari Movement UK (RMUK) to develop a joint petition combining efforts to develop an updated version of the ‘We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Petition’ (which became the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide’ Petition, of the SMWeCGEC  in 2015). I was also responsible for co-producing iNAPP’s then ‘Emerging Position on CARICOM Reparations’ which has since been adopted by the Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament (GAPP).

• In 2015, I co-founded the emerging Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP) working on the case and recognition of the Afrikan Heritage Community for National Self-Determination (AHC-NSD) and non-territorial cultural autonomy for Afrikans and people of Afrikan descent in the UK as a form of self-determined collective representation and ‘political’ reparations in the UK.

• In 2014, I Co-founded of the Afrikan Reparations Transnational Community of Practice (ARTCoP) which promotes grassroots scholar-activists, organic intellectuals and academics working on and for reparations with a view to countering fragmentation among the various action-learning (learning through doing) initiatives occurring on reparations.

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On Sky News in 2015 with Peter Bone Conservative MP discussing the issue of Jamaica and reparations.

• In 2012, I co-initiated, in association with Soul Law and PARCOE, of the first action-learning interdisciplinary short course on Afrikan reparations (course curriculum includes weekend intensive version, or 6-10 weeks) hosted by Platform arts and social justice campaigning organisation. Since this time, courses have developed to include ‘An Introduction to the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations’ (2014), and the ‘ISMAR Advocates Course'(2016), ISMAR stands for International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations.

Find out more about the course info below:

• Since 2014, under the auspices of PARCOE, I have been involved in building the Europe Wide NGO Consultative Council For Afrikan Reparations (ENGOCCAR), which is pulling together people working on the reparations dimensions of the civil society responses to the African Union Sixth Region Diaspora Initiative, networks involved in the ‘International Decade for People of African Descent’ (DPAD), and anti-Afrikan racism (Afriphobia) recognition.

• Despite being involved in the organising of the 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March since its inception in 2014, in 2015, I became the Vice-Chair of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC) with responsibility for education, public relations and media as well as being the official spokesperson. I am currently involved with planning processes towards the 2021 1st Mosiah Reparations Rebellion Groundings.

In March 2016, I became Co-Chair of Momentum Black ConneXions (MBC). MBC now works mainly through the Popular Educational Complex of Black Empowerment Action Learning (PECOBEAL) to carry educationally forward the purpose of connecting, through the Jeremy Corbyn Support Campaign, the Black Power politics of Black communities of resistance, in and Beyond Britain, into the progressive politics of the wider Labour Movement and society within and beyond the UK. MBC adopts a pro-reparations standpoint in its aims and objectives and seeks educationally to promote strategic and operational unity among and between various ‘politically Black’ communities worldwide in the quest to effect and secure reparatory justice as part of the Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM), a core column of which is the ISMAR.

In 2016, I co-hosted and co-organised the International Consultative Preparatory Forum (ICPF) for the Spearhead Pacific Alliance and BOOMERANGCIRCUIT 2017 Pacific Alliance Gathering of Colonised Peoples & Sovereign Peoples Union for Global Justice through Decolonisation and Reparations. I also participated in the Gathering of First Nations and Peoples later in the same year.

lond-Esther-Stanford-Xosei with Ghillar (Michael Anderson) founder of the Sovereign Union of Australia

Esther Stanford-Xosei with Ghillar (Michael Anderson) founder of the Sovereign Union of Australia

In October 2017, I was involved, on behalf of PARCOE, in co-hosting the London launch of the International Network of Scholars & Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR). INOSAAR is a collaborative project that is being coordinated by the University of Edinburgh (UK) and Wheelock College (Boston, US). The central purpose of the INOSAAR is to assist in the consolidation of a growing Afrikan global reparations movements by uniting activists and scholars in an international network dedicated to reparations and other forms of transitional justice for the enslavement and genocide of peoples of African descent, including the subsequent oppression and deformation of Afrikan identity. INOSAAR has subsequently developed into a sustained network of which I am a co-facilitator with Dr Nicola Frith & Professor Joyce Hope.

I remain committed to the realisation of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice and recognise the importance of working and struggling together with representatives of the ISMAR in Afrika and other parts of the Afrikan Diaspora to effect, secure and take reparatory justice on our own terms and in our own collective self-determined interests as Afrikan people. In this regard, I have sought to facilitate the amplification of the voices of the Mau Mau Community of Reparatory Justice Interest, the Ablodeduko voice of the Ewe-Fon Aja grouping of the Gbetowo Community of Reparatory Justice Interest, Ovaherero & Nama Community of Reparatory Justice Interest and many other related struggles to transform our world.

In October 2017, I was a guest of honour as part of the Ovaherero Community commemorations of the 113th Anniversary of the Extermination Order to obliterate the Ovaherero people which took place in Namibia.

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With Utjuia Esther Muinjangue & Kambanda Veii from the Ovaherero Genocide Foundation


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At the site where the Ovaherero Extermination Order was given


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Laying flowers at unmarked grave of victims of the Ovaherero-Nama Genocide

In November 2018, on behalf of the SMWeCGEC and given the importance of ending ecocide as a goal of securing holistic reparatory justice, I participated in Extinction Rebellion’s (XR) first #RebellionDay. Since this time, I co-founded the Extinction Rebellion Internationalist Solidarity Network (XRISN). This work is essential to PRIM-Building which is essential to the realisation of the goals of the ISMAR.

In 2018, under the auspices of the Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign, I co-founded and became Chair of the Maangamizi Educational Trust, which is the SMWeCGEC’s educational arm.

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ESX NEW NATION ARTICLE

In 2020, I became the Media & Communications Coordinator of the Extinction Rebellion Internationalist Solidarity Network (XRISN), with Kofi Mawuli Klu under the auspices of the SMWeCGEC, I co-founded the XRISN in 2019 after the 1st Rebellion Day in October 2018 of Extinction Rebellion. This article explains why I as a reparationist got involved in Extinction Rebellion (XR). Through the work of XRISN, we were able to get support from XR for the 2020 Reparations Rebellion Groundings which took place in Brixton on 1st Mosiah (August) 2020.

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Films, Radio & TV

I have featured in the multi-award-winning documentary 500 Years Later (2005) alongside Maulana Karenga, Muhammed Shareef, Francis Cress Welsing, Hakim Adi, Kimani Nehusi, Paul Robeson Jr. The film was written by M. K. Asante, Jr. and directed by Owen Alik Shahadah.

I also appeared in Motherland, the first Afrikan production to traverse the diverse history and rich culture of the Afrikan continent to examine the challenges of Afrika. Motherland is directed by Owen Alik Shahadah and produced by M.K. Asante, Jr.

I feature in this short film ‘Legacies of African Enslavement in Hackney’. The film is the result of a partnership between University College London’s Legacies of British Slave Ownership Project, Hackney Museum and Archives, funded by Arts Council England through the Share Academy programme.

I have also appeared on various BBC, Sky and Channel 4 news and documentary programmes as well as other programming such as for Press TV and Russia Today where I have advocated from a Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice perspective.

Discography

Words from an interview I gave for the Majesty & The Movement Exhibition are featured on a track called ‘Reparations Now’ which features on the Unconquered CD by Ras Cos Tafari  which also features some of the leading lights in Rastafari -songs- poems- speeches – reasoning over an acoustic blend of Bingi drums, guitars double bass, horns flutes and percussions.

I have a small cameo appearance in ‘Are you free’ by Kasiri:

I am also briefly featured in ‘Be Inspired’ by Jaja Soze:

Mural 

Thanks to the Dynamix CIC “Unsung Sheroes and Heroes of Afrikan Heritage” programme I was fortunate enough to have a mural painted of me painted by Neequaye Dreph Dsane

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My Interdisciplinary Reparations Praxis

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With Sir Hilary Beckles, Professor Harry Goulbourne discussing the Caribbean’s claim for reparations from Britain for enslavement in 2015.

By vocation, I am a jurisconsult (legal specialist is the science and philosophy of applied law and jurisprudence) and human and people’s law practitioner although my work is confined to working on the legal and extra-legal dimensions of taking, effecting and securing holistic reparations, self-determination, nationhood and sovereignty.

I am a former legal adviser to the Black Quest for Justice Campaign (BQJC) which initiated a legal and extra-legal strategy to effect and secure reparations in 2003. The strategy is still live and work continues on developing alternative legal and justice frameworks to adjudicate the case for Afrikan reparations which is not just about conventional legal strategies. A key pillar of such a strategy from 2004 to the present includes the establishment of a UK All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ) as well as the development of local, national and international configurations of the Peoples International Tribunal for Global Justice (U-PITGJ), otherwise known as the Ubuntukgotlas, as an alternative justice mechanism being worked out by various representatives of the People’s International Reparations Movement (PRIM). The PRIM is essentially all other peoples who have experienced European enslavement and/or settler colonialism (Aboriginals of Australia, First Nations/ indigenous peoples, Afrikan Descendant communities in Abya Yala (the so-called Americas), Moors, Maroons, etc.).

I am currently developing scholar-activist competencies as one of the few activist and emerging academic his/herstorians of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) and the first in the UK. My doctoral research at the University of Chichester which is being conducted in the action-research paradigm, is entitled ‘Our Movement is One: Afrikan Contributions from London Between 1990 to 2018 in Charting the Historical Trajectory of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR)’ and focuses on reparations historiography in the UK going back to the 18th century, although my focus is on the last 28 years of reparations activism between 1990 and 2018. It is also the first such PhD research in the world to adopt an action learning and oral history methodology of interviewing living reparations activists as rather than focusing on the political, moral or legal arguments for reparations, I focus on what we as a movement have been doing to effect and secure reparatory justice. This is a video in which I speak about the PhD as part of the University of Chichester initiated History Matters Conference spearheaded by my doctoral supervisor Professor Hakim Adi and other members of the History Matters Group.

I am also conducting independent research on the role, experiences and contributions of women in the ISMAR and best practices in creating gender-just social movements. As an activist researcher and educator (currently doing my PG CERT in Education alongside my PhD, I have already done the PTLLS course, Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Leaning Sector). I am engaged in cooperative-inquiry on social movement learning processes within the ISMAR. I am very much committed to increasing awareness of the fact that reparations is a social movement and that social movements cannot be reduced to one or another social movement organisation. My specific contributions include developing programmes and initiatives which promote, support and facilitate social movement-building, reparations social movement education (i.e. learning, teaching and praxis), training and research; law (including international law) ‘from below’, in addition to effecting and securing holistic, transformative, intersectional and intercommunal reparations.

I have authored chapters in the following books:

Remembered: In Memoriam: An Anthology of African & Caribbean Experiences WWI & WWII (2017) edited by Jak Beulah & Nairobi Thompson- Chapter ‘Reparations: Why all the fuss?

Remembered

Rhodes Must Fall: The Struggle to Decolonise the Racist Heart of Empire (2018)  edited by Rhodes Must Fall Oxford – Chapter ‘Decolonizing Reparations: Intersectionality and African Heritage Community Repairs’

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Recognition of my contribution to reparations scholar-activism can be found in the following articles etc:

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  • Inclusion in the book chapter ‘African Descendant Women and the Global Reparations Movement’ by Professor Adjoa A. Aiyetoro in Black Women and International Law (2015) edited by Dr Jeremy I. Levitt.

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Case Study for Academic Course

I am one of the list of women students are encouraged to research in the Women in Revolution Course taught by Dr June Scorza Terpstra at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU).

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Maangamizi Conscientization

On recognition of my influence in contributing to artistic reparations consciousness, see this interview by Akala (2016) on contributory influences for his track Maangamizi.

The following are a selection of some of the advocacy that I have done on Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice on a variety of platforms:



This list does not include the range of teaching and learning engagements, presentations and representations made or media appearances where I have promoted and sought to enrich public information, awareness, conscientisation, knowledge and discourse on reparations.

Outline of my Scholar-Activist Work on Reparations as part of ISMAR-Building

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About me

Esther Stanford-Xosei is a jurisconsult (legal specialist in jurisprudence), reparationist, (reparations activist), dynamic community advocate and historian.

Esther is a modern day abolitionist and freedom fighter, passionate about law, justice and education and using those as tools in resisting forms or oppression and injustice. Carrying on the legacy of Afrikan freedom movements, she is preoccupied with Afrikan Self-Determination from a contemporary Black Nationalist perspective.

She is a champion of reparations as repair, sighting self-repair as being the cornerstone of any people’s process of self-empowerment and restoration of agency (control, empowerment, self-determination). Ultimately transforming, ourselves, families’, communities’, nation and the world in order to leave this earth better than we found it.

Despite public perception of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations, for her it is not about victimhood and begging for money but about restoring a people’s human right to be repaired and for them to take charge of that process of doing so. Her work is recognition of continuing harm that is a result of slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and the looting of resources and stopping that harm today. By stopping forms of injustice, she believes we can begin the process of reconstruction and repair. Her focus is on stopping genocide and ecocide as well as the extraction of wealth and recourses from oppressed groups today as a first step to reclaiming what is owed to such groups who continue to be dispossessed intergenerationally.

She is an advocate for the collective protection of Global Pan-Afrikan nationhood and the elevation of the feminine principle as part of the transformation process. She has dedicated her life to the struggle, motivated by her desire to leave a better future for future generations.

Esther is currently completing a PhD in the history of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations in the UK at the university of Chichester.

 

Some of the most salient aspects of my organising experience in reparations related organisations, structures and processes as part of the resurgent International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) include serving as:

• Co-Vice Chair, with Kofi Mawuli Klu, of PARCOE (Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe) since 2001.

CCI21082017_0017

• N’COBRA (National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America) Europe Regional Representative and member of N’COBRA International Affairs Commission (NIAC) between 2001 and 2005.

 

ESX QMD

With Nana Yaa Asantewaa Ohema aka Queen Mother Dorothy Benton Lewis (Oravouche), Co-Founder N’COBRA

ESX OMARI OBADELE

With Baba Imari Obadele Co-Founder N’COBRA

BARBADOS 333
• Between 2001 and 2002, I was the Coordinator of FAADAR (Forum of Afrikan & Afrikan Descendants Against Racism) which mobilised the UK delegation to attend the AADWCAR, organised by the Congress Against Racism (Barbados) in association with the Commission of Pan-African Affairs.

ESX FIGHT TO BRITS

Article dated September 29, 2002, by Andrea King writing in the (Barbados) Sunday Sun, page 11A

• In 2002, I became the UK/Europe Region Representative of the 10 member International Steering Committee of the African & African Descendants World Conference Against Racism (AADWCAR), the official follow-up to the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination & Related Intolerance (WCAR), which took place in Barbados. It was at this conference that the International Front for African Reparations (IFAR) was formed and an international strategy developed to initiate legal action for reparations in various Western nations. Arising from this mandate, on 05/05/93, the Black Quest for Justice Campaign (BQJC), in association with PARCOE, (Pan-African Reparations Coalition in Europe), the Global Afrikan Congress (GAC) and the Black United Front Parliament (BUF-P) initiated the UK strategy to “effect” Pan-Afrikan Reparations by initiating a lawsuit (2003) against the British Head of State and the British Government. This date was chosen in honour and commemoration of the Early Day Motion on the Abuja Proclamation regarding support for Reparations to Afrikans initiated by the late Bernie Grant MP ten years prior on 5th May 2003. I was involved in BQJC, PARCOE and the GAC at the time and played a significant role in the development of this legal and extra-legal strategy.

BG

CCI21082017_0014

Not our choice of headline!

CCI21082017_0015

CCI21082017_0016

CCI21082017_0021 (2)

barbados

Delegation from the UK which participated in the AADWCAR

• I was a Co-founder of the Global Afrikan Congress (GAC). Between 2002 and 2003 I was the Europe Regional Co-Representative of GAC; a position which was shared with Dr Barryl Biekman (Netherlands).

blair

• Between 2003 and 2007 I was the Co-founder and General Secretary of the Afrikan-led cross-community abolitionist heritage learning network, Rendezvous of Victory (ROV) between. ROV partnered with Antislavery International (ASI) to host the first official London Commemorations of 23rd August, the UN  Day to commemorate the struggle against slavery and its Abolition in 2003. In 2004 ROV also organised London commemorations of 23rd August which were supported by the Greater London Authority (GLA). The launch of the ROV 2004 programme themed: Commemorations 2004 – 2007: Time to Resolve the Big Question of Reparations was also supported by former Home Office Minister, Fiona Mc Taggert MP who featured at the launch event. After being lobbied by ROV, Fiona McTaggert initiated a debate on slavery in the House of Commons in October 2004 where reparations were mooted.

LETS TALK SLAVERY 2

img010

• Between 2004 and 2013 I was a Board member of Antislavery International (ASI). ASI was the first white-led NGO to develop a pro-reparations policy position in the UK.

• In 2004, I led a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe and represented the Black United Front at the National Liberation Conference which took place in Harare in April 2004. The BUF, the December 12th Movement (USA) and the Aboriginal Nations and Peoples of Australia were the only delegates at the conference that represented Diaspora groupings from outside Afrika.

ESX BUF

One of my favourite pieces of activist ephemera from the BUF fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe in 2004. Taken from the Herald Newspaper

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MUGABE

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• In 2005, ROV initiated, in partnership with and the World Development Movement (now called Global Justice Now) the 2007 ‘Bicentenary of the Parliamentary Abolition of the Slave Trade Act Cross Community Forum’(CCF) which operated between 2005 and 2007. The CCF brought a wide diversity of people and interest groups, from within civil society and state, together to debate, challenge and confront ideas and opinions on issues concerning Britain’s role in under-developing Afrika and the Caribbean and effecting reparations for the Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Afrikans (TTEE) and colonialism. It also strengthened activist and NGO networking in galvanising broad engagement on policy, campaigns and strategies as part of taking action to redress the legacies of chattel, colonial and neo-colonial forms of enslavement today.

• Due to my role in ROV, I became a co-founder and member of the Global Justice Forum (GJF) in 2007. The Global Justice Forum (GJF) is a UK-based, Afrikan-led, cross-community network working across sectors to amplify grassroots voices in campaigning for social change. Formed in 2007, the GJF arose out of the 2007 Bicentenary Cross Community Forum. Its central focus is to promote abolitionist heritage action learning (learning through doing) as one of the prime components of bringing about global justice. Abolitionist heritage is the heritage of movements and campaigns which seek to abolish systems of racial, economic, political and cultural domination and all other forms of injustice by challenging beliefs which maintain their existence and replacing them with more humane and effective systems. One of the GJF’s key areas of work focuses on reparations popular education, action learning and cross community mobilisation which promotes activist knowledge gained as a result of reparations activism and advocates the potential of reparations to bring about fundamental structural transformation and global justice for all.

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• Between 2003 and 2006, I was the former Secretary General of the Black United Front-Parliament (BUF-P). Under the coalition’s auspices, I co-produced with Kofi Mawuli Klu, the UK version of the historic 1951 ‘We Charge Genocide Petition’ also championed by the National Black United front (NBUF) in the USA which since 2015 has evolved to become the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide’ Petition of the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC), of which I am the Coordinator-General.

GENOCIDE ACCUSATION

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• In 2006, as the UK representative of the N’COBRA, International Affairs Commission and Co-Vice Chair of PARCOE, I was a co-organiser and Coordinator for UK/Europe of the Global Pan-Afrikan Reparations Conference held in Ghana with the theme: ‘Create the Future: Transformation, Reparations, Repatriation, and Reconciliation’ (from 22/07/06 – 01/08/06). This conference was the second global Pan-Afrikan Reparations conference held in Afrika following the historic 1993, ‘First Conference on Reparations for Enslavement, Colonialism and Neo-colonialism’ held in Abuja, Nigeria under the auspices of the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

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• In 2006, I visited Libya as part of a UK delegation that attended the ‘First General People’s Congress for African Youth and Civil Organisations Inside and Outside the Continent’ in the Libyan capital, Tripoli from 26-28 and represented the cause of Afrikan Reparatory Justice in our group dialogue with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The summit brought over 1500 Afrikan youth leaders from the Continent and Diaspora. It made the United Afrikan States the topical theme for Pan-Afrikanists at the start of the new millennium. The idea of United Afrikan States has been around for nearly two centuries – leaders such as Marcus Garvey, Emperor Haile Selassie, Kwame Nkrumah, proposed this. In the following picture I am asking Colonel Gaddafi about his support for Afrikan reparations. The delegation was coordinated by Kesheni CCI and the Nile Youth Project.

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BAN DENIAL OF AFRIKAN HOLOCAUST

FREEDOM FIGHTER

Daily Telegraph 28/11/06

2007

Collective protest which took place outside of Westminster Abbey when on 27 March 2007 to commemorate Bicentenary of the 1807 British Parliamentary Abolition of the Slave Trade Act

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New Nation Newspaper 26/06/06

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• In 2007, I provided the keynote ‘Africa Day Message’ for the Barbados Government’s Commission of Pan-African Affairs ‘Africa Day’ Rally.

 

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Taken from the Advocate Newspaper (Barbados)

UGLY TURN TO RALLY

Newspaper report of incident at the ‘Africa Day’ Rally on 25 May 2007

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ESX DONT GIVE IN TO BRITAIN

• In 2010, I initiated the historic employment tribunal case at the Central London Employment Tribunal: Esther Stanford-Xosei v the Women’s Resource Centre. It was my contention that I was constructively dismissed from the organisation on multiple and intersecting grounds of race, religious and philosophical belief as well as my sexual orientation. It was my assertion that that my position as a policy officer was rendered untenable due to my race and ethnicity; advocacy of Black Feminism/s within a white-led organisation with an explicit value of Feminism; my heterosexuality; and heterosexist-racist assumptions about my faith praxis as a adherent of Afrikan Diaspora Religion – a personal synthesis of my Afrikan Hebrew Diaspora cultural heritage, religious and spiritual beliefs. I advocated that this case was a reparations case.

• Between 2012 and 2015 I was the Co-Chair of the iNAPP (Interim National Afrikan People’s Parliament), Co-Chair of iNAPP Legal & Constitutional Subcommittee and co-initiator of the iNAPP Community Law Study, Dialogue & Action Circle between 2012 and 2015. Under my co-leadership with Kofi Mawuli Klu, iNAPP collaborated with the Rastafari Movement UK (RMUK) to develop a joint petition combining efforts to develop an updated version of the ‘We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Petition’ (which became the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide’ Petition, of the SMWeCGEC  in 2015). I was also responsible for co-producing iNAPP’s then ‘Emerging Position on CARICOM Reparations’ which has since been adopted by the Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament (GAPP).

• In 2015, I co-founded the emerging Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP) working on the case and recognition of the Afrikan Heritage Community for National Self-Determination (AHC-NSD) and non-territorial cultural autonomy for Afrikans and people of Afrikan descent in the UK as a form of self-determined collective representation and ‘political’ reparations in the UK.

• In 2014, I Co-founded of the Afrikan Reparations Transnational Community of Practice (ARTCoP) which promotes grassroots scholar-activists, organic intellectuals and academics working on and for reparations with a view to countering fragmentation among the various action-learning (learning through doing) initiatives occurring on reparations.

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On Sky News in 2015 with Peter Bone Conservative MP discussing the issue of Jamaica and reparations.

• In 2012, I co-initiated, in association with Soul Law and PARCOE, of the first action-learning interdisciplinary short course on Afrikan reparations (course curriculum includes weekend intensive version, or 6-10 weeks) hosted by Platform arts and social justice campaigning organisation. Since this time, courses have developed to include ‘An Introduction to the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations’ (2014), and the ‘ISMAR Advocates Course'(2016), ISMAR stands for International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations.

Find out more about the course info below:

• Since 2014, under the auspices of PARCOE, I have been involved in building the Europe Wide NGO Consultative Council For Afrikan Reparations (ENGOCCAR), which is pulling together people working on the reparations dimensions of the civil society responses to the African Union Sixth Region Diaspora Initiative, networks involved in the ‘International Decade for People of African Descent’ (DPAD), and anti-Afrikan racism (Afriphobia) recognition.

• Despite being involved in the organising of the 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March since its inception in 2014, in 2015, I became the Vice-Chair of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC) with responsibility for education, public relations and media as well as being the official spokesperson. I am currently involved with planning processes towards the 2021 1st Mosiah Reparations Rebellion Groundings.

In March 2016, I became Co-Chair of Momentum Black ConneXions (MBC). MBC now works mainly through the Popular Educational Complex of Black Empowerment Action Learning (PECOBEAL) to carry educationally forward the purpose of connecting, through the Jeremy Corbyn Support Campaign, the Black Power politics of Black communities of resistance, in and Beyond Britain, into the progressive politics of the wider Labour Movement and society within and beyond the UK. MBC adopts a pro-reparations standpoint in its aims and objectives and seeks educationally to promote strategic and operational unity among and between various ‘politically Black’ communities worldwide in the quest to effect and secure reparatory justice as part of the Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM), a core column of which is the ISMAR.

In 2016, I co-hosted and co-organised the International Consultative Preparatory Forum (ICPF) for the Spearhead Pacific Alliance and BOOMERANGCIRCUIT 2017 Pacific Alliance Gathering of Colonised Peoples & Sovereign Peoples Union for Global Justice through Decolonisation and Reparations. I also participated in the Gathering of First Nations and Peoples later in the same year.

lond-Esther-Stanford-Xosei with Ghillar (Michael Anderson) founder of the Sovereign Union of Australia

Esther Stanford-Xosei with Ghillar (Michael Anderson) founder of the Sovereign Union of Australia


In October 2017, I was involved, on behalf of PARCOE, in co-hosting the London launch of the International Network of Scholars & Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR). INOSAAR is a collaborative project that is being coordinated by the University of Edinburgh (UK) and Wheelock College (Boston, US). The central purpose of the INOSAAR is to assist in the consolidation of a growing Afrikan global reparations movements by uniting activists and scholars in an international network dedicated to reparations and other forms of transitional justice for the enslavement and genocide of peoples of Afrikan descent, including the subsequent oppression and deformation of Afrikan identity. INOSAAR has subsequently developed into a sustained network of which I am a co-facilitator with Dr Nicola Frith & Professor Joyce Hope.

 

I remain committed to the realisation of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice and recognise the importance of working and struggling together with representatives of the ISMAR in Afrika and other parts of the Afrikan Diaspora to effect, secure and take reparatory justice on our own terms and in our own collective self-determined interests as Afrikan people. In this regard, I have sought to facilitate the amplification of the voices of the Mau Mau Community of Reparatory Justice Interest, the Ablodeduko voice of the Ewe-Fon Aja grouping of the Gbetowo Community of Reparatory Justice Interest, Ovaherero & Nama Community of Reparatory Justice Interest and many other related struggles to transform our world.

In October 2017, I was a guest of honour as part of the Ovaherero Community commemorations of the 113th Anniversary of the Extermination Order to obliterate the Ovaherero people which took place in Namibia.

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With Utjuia Esther Muinjangue & Kambanda Veii from the Ovaherero Genocide Foundation

 

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At the site where the Ovaherero Extermination Order was given

 

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Laying flowers at unmarked grave of victims of the Ovaherero-Nama Genocide

 

In November 2018, on behalf of the SMWeCGEC and given the importance of ending ecocide as a goal of securing holistic reparatory justice, I participated in Extinction Rebellion’s (XR) first #RebellionDay. Since this time, I co-founded the Extinction Rebellion Internationalist Solidarity Network (XRISN). This work is essential to PRIM-Building which is essential to the realisation of the goals of the ISMAR.

 

 

 

In 2018, under the auspices of the Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign, I co-founded and became Chair of the Maangamizi Educational Trust, which is the SMWeCGEC’s educational arm.

MAT 23

 

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ESX NEW NATION ARTICLE

In 2020, I became the Media & Communications Coordinator of the Extinction Rebellion Internationalist Solidarity Network (XRISN), with Kofi Mawuli Klu under the auspices of the SMWeCGEC, I co-founded the XRISN in 2019 after the 1st Rebellion Day in October 2018 of Extinction Rebellion. This article explains why I as a reparationist got involved in Extinction Rebellion (XR). Through the work of XRISN, we were able to get support from XR for the 2020 Reparations Rebellion Groundings which took place in Brixton on 1st Mosiah (August) 2020.

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Films, Radio & TV

I have featured in the multi-award-winning documentary 500 Years Later (2005) alongside Maulana Karenga, Muhammed Shareef, Francis Cress Welsing, Hakim Adi, Kimani Nehusi, Paul Robeson Jr. The film was written by M. K. Asante, Jr. and directed by Owen Alik Shahadah.

I also appeared in Motherland, the first Afrikan production to traverse the diverse history and rich culture of the Afrikan continent to examine the challenges of Afrika. Motherland is directed by Owen Alik Shahadah and produced by M.K. Asante, Jr.

I feature in this short film ‘Legacies of African Enslavement in Hackney’. The film is the result of a partnership between University College London’s Legacies of British Slave Ownership Project, Hackney Museum and Archives, funded by Arts Council England through the Share Academy programme.

I have also appeared on various BBC, Sky and Channel 4 news and documentary programmes as well as other programming such as for Press TV and Russia Today where I have advocated from a Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice perspective.

Discography

Words from an interview I gave for the Majesty & The Movement Exhibition are featured on a track called ‘Reparations Now’ which features on the Unconquered CD by Ras Cos Tafari  which also features some of the leading lights in Rastafari -songs- poems- speeches – reasoning over an acoustic blend of Bingi drums, guitars double bass, horns flutes and percussions.

I have a small cameo appearance in ‘Are you free’ by Kasiri:

I am also briefly featured in ‘Be Inspired’ by Jaja Soze:

 

 


Mural 

Thanks to the Dynamix CIC “Unsung Sheroes and Heroes of Afrikan Heritage” programme I was fortunate enough to have a mural painted of me painted by Neequaye Dreph Dsane

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My Interdisciplinary Reparations Praxis

 

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With Sir Hilary Beckles, Professor Harry Goulbourne discussing the Caribbean’s claim for reparations from Britain for enslavement in 2015.

By vocation, I am a jurisconsult (legal specialist is the science and philosophy of applied law and jurisprudence) and human and people’s law practitioner although my work is confined to working on the legal and extra-legal dimensions of taking, effecting and securing holistic reparations, self-determination, nationhood and sovereignty.

I am a former legal adviser to the Black Quest for Justice Campaign (BQJC) which initiated a legal and extra-legal strategy to effect and secure reparations in 2003. The strategy is still live and work continues on developing alternative legal and justice frameworks to adjudicate the case for Afrikan reparations which is not just about conventional legal strategies. A key pillar of such a strategy from 2004 to the present includes the establishment of a UK All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ) as well as the development of local, national and international configurations of the Peoples International Tribunal for Global Justice (U-PITGJ), otherwise known as the Ubuntukgotlas, as an alternative justice mechanism being worked out by various representatives of the People’s International Reparations Movement (PRIM). The PRIM is essentially all other peoples who have experienced European enslavement and/or settler colonialism (Aboriginals of Australia, First Nations/ indigenous peoples, Afrikan Descendant communities in Abya Yala (the so-called Americas), Moors, Maroons, etc.).

I am currently developing scholar-activist competencies as one of the few activist and emerging academic his/herstorians of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) and the first in the UK. My doctoral research at the University of Chichester which is being conducted in the action-research paradigm, is entitled ‘Our Movement is One: Afrikan Contributions from London Between 1990 to 2018 in Charting the Historical Trajectory of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR)’ and focuses on reparations historiography in the UK going back to the 18th century, although my focus is on the last 28 years of reparations activism between 1990 and 2018. It is also the first such PhD research in the world to adopt an action learning and oral history methodology of interviewing living reparations activists as rather than focusing on the political, moral or legal arguments for reparations, I focus on what we as a movement have been doing to effect and secure reparatory justice. This is a video in which I speak about the PhD as part of the University of Chichester initiated History Matters Conference spearheaded by my doctoral supervisor Professor Hakim Adi and other members of the History Matters Group.

I am also conducting independent research on the role, experiences and contributions of women in the ISMAR and best practices in creating gender-just social movements. As an activist researcher and educator (currently doing my PG CERT in Education alongside my PhD, I have already done the PTLLS course, Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Leaning Sector). I am engaged in cooperative-inquiry on social movement learning processes within the ISMAR. I am very much committed to increasing awareness of the fact that reparations is a social movement and that social movements cannot be reduced to one or another social movement organisation. My specific contributions include developing programmes and initiatives which promote, support and facilitate social movement-building, reparations social movement education (i.e. learning, teaching and praxis), training and research; law (including international law) ‘from below’, in addition to effecting and securing holistic, transformative, intersectional and intercommunal reparations.

I have authored chapters in the following books:

Remembered: In Memoriam: An Anthology of African & Caribbean Experiences WWI & WWII (2017) edited by Jak Beulah & Nairobi Thompson- Chapter ‘Reparations: Why all the fuss?

Remembered

Rhodes Must Fall: The Struggle to Decolonise the Racist Heart of Empire (2018)  edited by Rhodes Must Fall Oxford – Chapter ‘Decolonizing Reparations: Intersectionality and African Heritage Community Repairs’

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Recognition of my contribution to reparations scholar-activism can be found in the following articles etc:

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  • Inclusion in the book chapter ‘African Descendant Women and the Global Reparations Movement’ by Professor Adjoa A. Aiyetoro in Black Women and International Law (2015) edited by Dr Jeremy I. Levitt.

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Case Study for Academic Course

I am one of the list of women students are encouraged to research in the Women in Revolution Course taught by Dr June Scorza Terpstra at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU).

JUNE ESTHER

Maangamizi Conscientization

On recognition of my influence in contributing to artistic reparations consciousness, see this interview by Akala (2016) on contributory influences for his track Maangamizi.

The following are a selection of some of the advocacy that I have done on Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice on a variety of platforms:



This list does not include the range of teaching and learning engagements, presentations and representations made or media appearances where I have promoted and sought to enrich public information, awareness, conscientisation, knowledge and discourse on reparations.

Outline of my Scholar-Activist Work on Reparations as part of ISMAR-Building

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About me

Esther Stanford-Xosei is a jurisconsult (legal specialist in jurisprudence), reparationist, (reparations activist), dynamic community advocate and historian. She is a modern day abolitionist and freedom fighter, passionate about law, justice and education and using those as tools in resisting forms or oppression and injustice. Carrying on the legacy of Afrikan freedom movements, she is preoccupied with Afrikan Self-Determination from a contemporary Black Nationalist perspective.

She is a champion of reparations as repair, sighting self-repair as being the cornerstone of any people’s process of self-empowerment and restoration of agency (control, empowerment, self-determination). Ultimately transforming, ourselves, families’, communities’, nation and the world in order to leave this earth better than we found it.

For Esther, the International Social  Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) is not about victimhood and begging colonisers or oppressors for money, but about restoring a people’s human right to be repaired and for them to take charge of that process of doing so. Her work is about recognising the continuing harm of the Maangamizi (Afrikan Hellacaust) and stopping that harm today as ‘guarantees of non-repetition’. By stopping forms of systemic and structural injustice rooted in the Maangamizi, she believes we can begin the process of reconstruction and repair. Her focus is on stopping genocide and ecocide as well as the extraction of wealth and resources from oppressed peoples today as a first step to reclaiming what is owed to such peoples who continue to be dispossessed intergenerationally.

She is an advocate for the collective protection of Global Pan-Afrikan nationhood and the elevation of the feminine principle as part of the transformation process. She has dedicated her life to the struggle, motivated by her desire to leave a better world for future generations.

Esther is currently completing a PhD in the history of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations in the UK at the university of Chichester.

About my activism

Some of the most salient aspects of my organising experience in reparations related organisations, structures and processes as part of the resurgent International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) include serving as:

• Co-Vice Chair, with Kofi Mawuli Klu, of PARCOE (Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe) since 2001.

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• N’COBRA (National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America) Europe Regional Representative and member of N’COBRA International Affairs Commission (NIAC) between 2001 and 2005.

 

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With Nana Yaa Asantewaa Ohema aka Queen Mother Dorothy Benton Lewis (Oravouche), Co-Founder N’COBRA

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With Baba Imari Obadele Co-Founder N’COBRA

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• Between 2001 and 2002, I was the Coordinator of FAADAR (Forum of Afrikan & Afrikan Descendants Against Racism) which mobilised the UK delegation to attend the AADWCAR, organised by the Congress Against Racism (Barbados) in association with the Commission of Pan-African Affairs.

ESX FIGHT TO BRITS

Article dated September 29, 2002, by Andrea King writing in the (Barbados) Sunday Sun, page 11A

• In 2002, I became the UK/Europe Region Representative of the 10 member International Steering Committee of the African & African Descendants World Conference Against Racism (AADWCAR), the official follow-up to the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination & Related Intolerance (WCAR), which took place in Barbados. It was at this conference that the International Front for African Reparations (IFAR) was formed and an international strategy developed to initiate legal action for reparations in various Western nations. Arising from this mandate, on 05/05/93, the Black Quest for Justice Campaign (BQJC), in association with PARCOE, (Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe), the Global Afrikan Congress (GAC) and the Black United Front Parliament (BUF-P) initiated the UK strategy to “effect” Pan-Afrikan Reparations by initiating a lawsuit (2003) against the British Head of State and the British Government. This date was chosen in honour and commemoration of the Early Day Motion on the Abuja Proclamation regarding support for Reparations to Afrikans initiated by the late Bernie Grant MP ten years prior on 5th May 2003. I was involved in BQJC, PARCOE and the GAC at the time and played a significant role in the development of this legal and extra-legal strategy.

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Not our choice of headline!

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Delegation from the UK which participated in the AADWCAR

• I was a Co-founder of the Global Afrikan Congress (GAC). Between 2002 and 2003 I was the Europe Regional Co-Representative of GAC; a position which was shared with Dr Barryl Biekman (Netherlands).

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• Between 2003 and 2007 I was the Co-founder and General Secretary of the Afrikan-led cross-community abolitionist heritage learning network, Rendezvous of Victory (ROV) between. ROV partnered with Antislavery International (ASI) to host the first official London Commemorations of 23rd August, the UN  Day to commemorate the struggle against slavery and its Abolition in 2003. In 2004 ROV also organised London commemorations of 23rd August which were supported by the Greater London Authority (GLA). The launch of the ROV 2004 programme themed: Commemorations 2004 – 2007: Time to Resolve the Big Question of Reparations was also supported by former Home Office Minister, Fiona Mc Taggert MP who featured at the launch event. After being lobbied by ROV, Fiona McTaggert initiated a debate on slavery in the House of Commons in October 2004 where reparations were mooted.

LETS TALK SLAVERY 2

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• Between 2004 and 2013 I was a Board member of Antislavery International (ASI). ASI was the first white-led NGO to develop a pro-reparations policy position in the UK.

• In 2004, I led a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe and represented the Black United Front at the National Liberation Conference which took place in Harare in April 2004. The BUF, the December 12th Movement (USA) and the Aboriginal Nations and Peoples of Australia were the only delegates at the conference that represented Diaspora groupings from outside Afrika.

ESX BUF

One of my favourite pieces of activist ephemera from the BUF fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe in 2004. Taken from the Herald Newspaper

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ZIM 2

MUGABE

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CCI21082017_0009.jpg

• In 2005, ROV initiated, in partnership with and the World Development Movement (now called Global Justice Now) the 2007 ‘Bicentenary of the Parliamentary Abolition of the Slave Trade Act Cross Community Forum’(CCF) which operated between 2005 and 2007. The CCF brought a wide diversity of people and interest groups, from within civil society and state, together to debate, challenge and confront ideas and opinions on issues concerning Britain’s role in under-developing Afrika and the Caribbean and effecting reparations for the Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Afrikans (TTEE) and colonialism. It also strengthened activist and NGO networking in galvanising broad engagement on policy, campaigns and strategies as part of taking action to redress the legacies of chattel, colonial and neo-colonial forms of enslavement today.

• Due to my role in ROV, I became a co-founder and member of the Global Justice Forum (GJF) in 2007. The Global Justice Forum (GJF) is a UK-based, Afrikan-led, cross-community network working across sectors to amplify grassroots voices in campaigning for social change. Formed in 2007, the GJF arose out of the 2007 Bicentenary Cross Community Forum. Its central focus is to promote abolitionist heritage action learning (learning through doing) as one of the prime components of bringing about global justice. Abolitionist heritage is the heritage of movements and campaigns which seek to abolish systems of racial, economic, political and cultural domination and all other forms of injustice by challenging beliefs which maintain their existence and replacing them with more humane and effective systems. One of the GJF’s key areas of work focuses on reparations popular education, action learning and cross community mobilisation which promotes activist knowledge gained as a result of reparations activism and advocates the potential of reparations to bring about fundamental structural transformation and global justice for all.

ESX Screen-Shot-2016-08-02-at-20.49.53

• Between 2003 and 2006, I was the former Secretary General of the Black United Front-Parliament (BUF-P). Under the coalition’s auspices, I co-produced with Kofi Mawuli Klu, the UK version of the historic 1951 ‘We Charge Genocide Petition’ also championed by the National Black United front (NBUF) in the USA which since 2015 has evolved to become the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide’ Petition of the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC), of which I am the Coordinator-General.

GENOCIDE ACCUSATION

SM-RJ-Esther-Roniyah-Stanford-Xosei-700x490

• In 2006, as the UK representative of the N’COBRA, International Affairs Commission and Co-Vice Chair of PARCOE, I was a co-organiser and Coordinator for UK/Europe of the Global Pan-Afrikan Reparations Conference held in Ghana with the theme: ‘Create the Future: Transformation, Reparations, Repatriation, and Reconciliation’ (from 22/07/06 – 01/08/06). This conference was the second global Pan-Afrikan Reparations conference held in Afrika following the historic 1993, ‘First Conference on Reparations for Enslavement, Colonialism and Neo-colonialism’ held in Abuja, Nigeria under the auspices of the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

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• In 2006, I visited Libya as part of a UK delegation that attended the ‘First General People’s Congress for African Youth and Civil Organisations Inside and Outside the Continent’ in the Libyan capital, Tripoli from 26-28 and represented the cause of Afrikan Reparatory Justice in our group dialogue with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The summit brought over 1500 Afrikan youth leaders from the Continent and Diaspora. It made the United Afrikan States the topical theme for Pan-Afrikanists at the start of the new millennium. The idea of United Afrikan States has been around for nearly two centuries – leaders such as Marcus Garvey, Emperor Haile Selassie, Kwame Nkrumah, proposed this. In the following picture I am asking Colonel Gaddafi about his support for Afrikan reparations. The delegation was coordinated by Kesheni CCI and the Nile Youth Project.

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BAN DENIAL OF AFRIKAN HOLOCAUST

FREEDOM FIGHTER

Daily Telegraph 28/11/06

2007

Collective protest which took place outside of Westminster Abbey when on 27 March 2007 to commemorate Bicentenary of the 1807 British Parliamentary Abolition of the Slave Trade Act

FREEDOM 1

New Nation Newspaper 26/06/06

FREEDOM FIGHTER 2

• In 2007, I provided the keynote ‘Africa Day Message’ for the Barbados Government’s Commission of Pan-African Affairs Africa Day Rally.

 

barbados 2007

Taken from the Advocate Newspaper (Barbados)

UGLY TURN TO RALLY

Newspaper report of incident at the ‘Africa Day’ Rally on 25 May 2007

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ESX DONT GIVE IN TO BRITAIN

• In 2010, I initiated the historic employment tribunal case at the Central London Employment Tribunal: Esther Stanford-Xosei v the Women’s Resource Centre. It was my contention that I was constructively dismissed from the organisation on multiple and intersecting grounds of race, religious and philosophical belief as well as my sexual orientation. It was my assertion that that my position as a policy officer was rendered untenable due to my race and ethnicity; advocacy of Black Feminism/s within a white-led organisation with an explicit value of Feminism; my heterosexuality; and heterosexist-racist assumptions about my faith praxis as a adherent of Afrikan Diaspora Religion – a personal synthesis of my Afrikan Hebrew Diaspora cultural heritage, religious and spiritual beliefs. I advocated that this case was a reparations case.

• Between 2012 and 2015 I was the Co-Chair of the iNAPP (Interim National Afrikan People’s Parliament), Co-Chair of iNAPP Legal & Constitutional Subcommittee and co-initiator of the iNAPP Community Law Study, Dialogue & Action Circle between 2012 and 2015. Under my co-leadership with Kofi Mawuli Klu, iNAPP collaborated with the Rastafari Movement UK (RMUK) to develop a joint petition combining efforts to develop an updated version of the ‘We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Petition’ (which became the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide’ Petition, of the SMWeCGEC  in 2015). I was also responsible for co-producing iNAPP’s then ‘Emerging Position on CARICOM Reparations’ which has since been adopted by the Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament (GAPP).

• In 2015, I co-founded the emerging Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP) working on the case and recognition of the Afrikan Heritage Community for National Self-Determination (AHC-NSD) and non-territorial cultural autonomy for Afrikans and people of Afrikan descent in the UK as a form of self-determined collective representation and ‘political’ reparations in the UK.

• In 2014, I Co-founded of the Afrikan Reparations Transnational Community of Practice (ARTCoP) which promotes grassroots scholar-activists, organic intellectuals and academics working on and for reparations with a view to countering fragmentation among the various action-learning (learning through doing) initiatives occurring on reparations.

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On Sky News in 2015 with Peter Bone Conservative MP discussing the issue of Jamaica and reparations.

• In 2012, I co-initiated, in association with Soul Law and PARCOE, of the first action-learning interdisciplinary short course on Afrikan reparations (course curriculum includes weekend intensive version, or 6-10 weeks) hosted by Platform arts and social justice campaigning organisation. Since this time, courses have developed to include ‘An Introduction to the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations’ (2014), and the ‘ISMAR Advocates Course'(2016), ISMAR stands for International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations.

Find out more about the course info below:

• Since 2014, under the auspices of PARCOE, I have been involved in building the Europe Wide NGO Consultative Council For Afrikan Reparations (ENGOCCAR), which is pulling together people working on the reparations dimensions of the civil society responses to the African Union Sixth Region Diaspora Initiative, networks involved in the ‘International Decade for People of African Descent’ (DPAD), and anti-Afrikan racism (Afriphobia) recognition.

• Despite being involved in the organising of the 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March since its inception in 2014, in 2015, I became the Vice-Chair of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC) with responsibility for education, public relations and media as well as being the official spokesperson. I am currently involved with planning processes towards the 2021 1st Mosiah Reparations Rebellion Groundings.

In March 2016, I became Co-Chair of Momentum Black ConneXions (MBC). MBC now works mainly through the Popular Educational Complex of Black Empowerment Action Learning (PECOBEAL) to carry educationally forward the purpose of connecting, through the Jeremy Corbyn Support Campaign, the Black Power politics of Black communities of resistance, in and Beyond Britain, into the progressive politics of the wider Labour Movement and society within and beyond the UK. MBC adopts a pro-reparations standpoint in its aims and objectives and seeks educationally to promote strategic and operational unity among and between various ‘politically Black’ communities worldwide in the quest to effect and secure reparatory justice as part of the Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM), a core column of which is the ISMAR.

In 2016, I co-hosted and co-organised the International Consultative Preparatory Forum (ICPF) for the Spearhead Pacific Alliance and BOOMERANGCIRCUIT 2017 Pacific Alliance Gathering of Colonised Peoples & Sovereign Peoples Union for Global Justice through Decolonisation and Reparations. I also participated in the Gathering of First Nations and Peoples later in the same year.

lond-Esther-Stanford-Xosei with Ghillar (Michael Anderson) founder of the Sovereign Union of Australia

Esther Stanford-Xosei with Ghillar (Michael Anderson) founder of the Sovereign Union of Australia

In October 2017, I was involved, on behalf of PARCOE, in co-hosting the London launch of the International Network of Scholars & Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR). INOSAAR is a collaborative project that is being coordinated by the University of Edinburgh (UK) and Wheelock College (Boston, US). The central purpose of the INOSAAR is to assist in the consolidation of a growing Afrikan global reparations movements by uniting activists and scholars in an international network dedicated to reparations and other forms of transitional justice for the enslavement and genocide of peoples of African descent, including the subsequent oppression and deformation of Afrikan identity. INOSAAR has subsequently developed into a sustained network of which I am a co-facilitator with Dr Nicola Frith & Professor Joyce Hope.

 

I remain committed to the realisation of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice and recognise the importance of working and struggling together with representatives of the ISMAR in Afrika and other parts of the Afrikan Diaspora to effect, secure and take reparatory justice on our own terms and in our own collective self-determined interests as Afrikan people. In this regard, I have sought to facilitate the amplification of the voices of the Mau Mau Community of Reparatory Justice Interest, the Ablodeduko voice of the Ewe-Fon Aja grouping of the Gbetowo Community of Reparatory Justice Interest, Ovaherero & Nama Community of Reparatory Justice Interest and many other related struggles to transform our world.

In October 2017, I was a guest of honour as part of the Ovaherero Community commemorations of the 113th Anniversary of the Extermination Order to obliterate the Ovaherero people which took place in Namibia.

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With Utjuia Esther Muinjangue & Kambanda Veii from the Ovaherero Genocide Foundation

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At the site where the Ovaherero Extermination Order was given

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Laying flowers at unmarked grave of victims of the Ovaherero-Nama Genocide

In November 2018, on behalf of the SMWeCGEC and given the importance of ending ecocide as a goal of securing holistic reparatory justice, I participated in Extinction Rebellion’s (XR) first #RebellionDay. Since this time, I co-founded the Extinction Rebellion Internationalist Solidarity Network (XRISN). This work is essential to PRIM-Building which is essential to the realisation of the goals of the ISMAR.

 

 

 

In 2018, under the auspices of the Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign, I co-founded and became Chair of the Maangamizi Educational Trust, which is the SMWeCGEC’s educational arm.

MAT 23

 

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ESX NEW NATION ARTICLE

In 2020, I became the Media & Communications Coordinator of the Extinction Rebellion Internationalist Solidarity Network (XRISN), with Kofi Mawuli Klu under the auspices of the SMWeCGEC, I co-founded the XRISN in 2019 after the 1st Rebellion Day in October 2018 of Extinction Rebellion. This article explains why I as a reparationist got involved in Extinction Rebellion (XR). Through the work of XRISN, we were able to get support from XR for the 2020 Reparations Rebellion Groundings which took place in Brixton on 1st Mosiah (August) 2020.

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Films, Radio & TV

I have featured in the multi-award-winning documentary 500 Years Later (2005) alongside Maulana Karenga, Muhammed Shareef, Francis Cress Welsing, Hakim Adi, Kimani Nehusi, Paul Robeson Jr. The film was written by M. K. Asante, Jr. and directed by Owen Alik Shahadah.

I also appeared in Motherland, the first Afrikan production to traverse the diverse history and rich culture of the Afrikan continent to examine the challenges of Afrika. Motherland is directed by Owen Alik Shahadah and produced by M.K. Asante, Jr.

I feature in this short film ‘Legacies of African Enslavement in Hackney’. The film is the result of a partnership between University College London’s Legacies of British Slave Ownership Project, Hackney Museum and Archives, funded by Arts Council England through the Share Academy programme.

I have also appeared on various BBC, Sky and Channel 4 news and documentary programmes as well as other programming such as for Press TV and Russia Today where I have advocated from a Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice perspective.

Discography

Words from an interview I gave for the Majesty & The Movement Exhibition are featured on a track called ‘Reparations Now’ which features on the Unconquered CD by Ras Cos Tafari  which also features some of the leading lights in Rastafari -songs- poems- speeches – reasoning over an acoustic blend of Bingi drums, guitars double bass, horns flutes and percussions.

I have a small cameo appearance in ‘Are you free’ by Kasiri:

I am also briefly featured in ‘Be Inspired’ by Jaja Soze:

 

Mural 

Thanks to the Dynamix CIC “Unsung Sheroes and Heroes of Afrikan Heritage” programme I was fortunate enough to have a mural painted of me painted by Neequaye Dreph Dsane

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My Interdisciplinary Reparations Praxis

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With Sir Hilary Beckles, Professor Harry Goulbourne discussing the Caribbean’s claim for reparations from Britain for enslavement in 2015.

By vocation, I am a jurisconsult (legal specialist is the science and philosophy of applied law and jurisprudence) and human and people’s law practitioner although my work is confined to working on the legal and extra-legal dimensions of taking, effecting and securing holistic reparations, self-determination, nationhood and sovereignty.

I am a former legal adviser to the Black Quest for Justice Campaign (BQJC) which initiated a legal and extra-legal strategy to effect and secure reparations in 2003. The strategy is still live and work continues on developing alternative legal and justice frameworks to adjudicate the case for Afrikan reparations which is not just about conventional legal strategies. A key pillar of such a strategy from 2004 to the present includes the establishment of a UK All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ) as well as the development of local, national and international configurations of the Peoples International Tribunal for Global Justice (U-PITGJ), otherwise known as the Ubuntukgotlas, as an alternative justice mechanism being worked out by various representatives of the People’s International Reparations Movement (PRIM). The PRIM is essentially all other peoples who have experienced European enslavement and/or settler colonialism (Aboriginals of Australia, First Nations/ indigenous peoples, Afrikan Descendant communities in Abya Yala (the so-called Americas), Moors, Maroons, etc.).

I am currently developing scholar-activist competencies as one of the few activist and emerging academic his/herstorians of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) and the first in the UK. My doctoral research at the University of Chichester which is being conducted in the action-research paradigm, is entitled ‘Our Movement is One: Afrikan Contributions from London Between 1990 to 2018 in Charting the Historical Trajectory of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR)’ and focuses on reparations historiography in the UK going back to the 18th century, although my focus is on the last 28 years of reparations activism between 1990 and 2018. It is also the first such PhD research in the world to adopt an action learning and oral history methodology of interviewing living reparations activists as rather than focusing on the political, moral or legal arguments for reparations, I focus on what we as a movement have been doing to effect and secure reparatory justice. This is a video in which I speak about the PhD as part of the University of Chichester initiated History Matters Conference spearheaded by my doctoral supervisor Professor Hakim Adi and other members of the History Matters Group.

I am also conducting independent research on the role, experiences and contributions of women in the ISMAR and best practices in creating gender-just social movements. As an activist researcher and educator (currently doing my PG CERT in Education alongside my PhD, I have already done the PTLLS course, Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Leaning Sector). I am engaged in cooperative-inquiry on social movement learning processes within the ISMAR. I am very much committed to increasing awareness of the fact that reparations is a social movement and that social movements cannot be reduced to one or another social movement organisation. My specific contributions include developing programmes and initiatives which promote, support and facilitate social movement-building, reparations social movement education (i.e. learning, teaching and praxis), training and research; law (including international law) ‘from below’, in addition to effecting and securing holistic, transformative, intersectional and intercommunal reparations.

I have authored chapters in the following books:

Remembered: In Memoriam: An Anthology of African & Caribbean Experiences WWI & WWII (2017) edited by Jak Beulah & Nairobi Thompson- Chapter ‘Reparations: Why all the fuss?

Remembered

Rhodes Must Fall: The Struggle to Decolonise the Racist Heart of Empire (2018)  edited by Rhodes Must Fall Oxford – Chapter ‘Decolonizing Reparations: Intersectionality and African Heritage Community Repairs’

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Recognition of my contribution to reparations scholar-activism can be found in the following articles etc:

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  • Inclusion in the book chapter ‘African Descendant Women and the Global Reparations Movement’ by Professor Adjoa A. Aiyetoro in Black Women and International Law (2015) edited by Dr Jeremy I. Levitt.

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Case Study for Academic Course

I am one of the list of women students are encouraged to research in the Women in Revolution Course taught by Dr June Scorza Terpstra at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU).

JUNE ESTHER

Maangamizi Conscientization

On recognition of my influence in contributing to artistic reparations consciousness, see this interview by Akala (2016) on contributory influences for his track Maangamizi.

The following are a selection of some of the advocacy that I have done on Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice on a variety of platforms:



This list does not include the range of teaching and learning engagements, presentations and representations made or media appearances where I have promoted and sought to enrich public information, awareness, conscientisation, knowledge and discourse on reparations.

Historic Emancipation and Reparations March, London 01/08/2014

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This is the link to a video from the historic 1st August Emancipation Day March spearheaded by the Rastafari Movement UK working with a whole host of other reparations and community based organisations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEUxBAhCVwI

Reparations for Africa’s Diaspora: The Politics of Memory & Justice

POLITICS OF MEMORY

This is a recording from the event organised by the Royal African Society discussing ‘Reparations for Africa’s Diaspora: The Politics of Memory & Justice’ on 17 June 2014.

In March 2014 leaders of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) agreed to seek reparations from former slave owning and trading states in Europe. The heads of state from 15 Caribbean nations agreed upon a 10 point plan that will set the agenda for discussion with European nations. The issue of reparations has been discussed over a century by African Diaspora, and CARICOM’s challenge presents a forum and opportunity for progressive discussion around, international justice, the nature of reparations and the politics of memory.

The panel of key figures from the African Diaspora, reparations campaigners and representatives of CARICOM states discussed the impact of reparations for Africa and the Diaspora.

Speakers: Dr Nathaniel Adam Tobias C̶o̶l̶e̶m̶a̶n̶, UCL; Esther Roniyah Stanford-Xosei, Reparationist, Jurisconsult; Dr Kwadwo Osei-Nyame Jr, SOAS; Onyekachi Wambu, Director, Engagement & Policy, AFFORD; Richard Stein, Partner, Leigh Day. Chair: Dr Ama Biney, Editor, Pambazuka News
See here for a link to the audi recording of the event:

African Caribbean Reparations: Why When and How?

Panel

Ths is an article from Caribbean news http://www.caribdirect.com about the panel discussion panel which took place on 24th June 2014 with  Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, University of the West Indies Vice Chancellor; Harry Goulbourne, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Race & Ethnicity Research Centre, South Bank University, as well as myself when we came together  to discuss the topic ‘British Reparations for Caribbean Slavery: Why When and How’.

For more info and an edited recording from the panel discussion see here: http://www.caribdirect.com/reparations-for-the-caribbean-why-when-and-how-caribbean-news/

On Defining a Reparations Activist

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In formulating criteria for inclusion of those activists I include in the definition and selection of reparations activists interviewed, I draw on the definition of oppositional consciousness developed by professors of political science and sociology respectively, Jane Mansbridge and Aldon Morris. (1) They define oppositional consciousness as “an empowering mental state that prepares members of an oppressed group to undermine, reform, or overthrow a dominant system”; asserting that: “it is usually fuelled by righteous anger over injustices done to the group and prompted by personal indignities and harms suffered through one’s group membership”. (2)They go on to state that at a minimum, oppositional consciousness includes the following four elements of :“identifying with members of a subordinated group, identifying injustices done to the group, opposing those injustices, and seeing the group as having a shared interest in ending or diminishing those injustices”. (3)

The term ‘activist’ itself is contentious, as to who is an activist and what actions can be defined as activism are often contested. Nevertheless, by taking into consideration the views and perspectives of those 35 reparations activists and advocates that have been interviewed in my attempt to develop a definition and criteria for inclusion of activists I have come up with the following definition.

A reparations activist is someone who meets the following criteria:

1. They display a high level of historical as well as oppositional consciousness;
2. Their oppositional consciousness is directed at taking action, with other members of their affinity group, to repair wrongs or injustices and/or redress the harmful legacies of enslavement and colonisation;
3. Such action results in bringing about social, cultural, or political change; and
4. This change occurs through:
a) Taking oppositional stances to establishment policies that are deemed negative;
b) Challenging structures and systems of power and domination considered to be responsible for the perpetration of the enduring injustices caused by enslavement, colonisation and their legacies; and/or
c) Creating alternatives to the dominant values, system, structures or institutions.

The important point to note about the above criteria for inclusion is that not all those who are considered to be reparations activists by others, or indeed define themselves as reparations activists are necessarily included in the criteria that has been subsequently established for the purposes of this research. If it is accepted that that reparations are most meaningful in their holistic sense, then any action that someone does which contributes to the fundamental undermining and eventual uprooting of systems of disrepair arising from enslavement and colonisation can be considered a reparations action.

The key aspects being advocated in the above criteria is that a reparations activist is someone who takes action that advances the cause of holistic reparations, even if they are fully conscious of it or not. In her own assessment for inclusion, I opine that it is more useful to look at the actions that have been or are being undertaken rather than how individuals define themselves.

(1) See Jane Manbridge and Adrian Morris, ‘Oppositional Consciousness: The Subjective Roots of Social Protest’ (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 2001).

(2) Ibid, p173.

(3) Op. Cit.

Feel free to comment on this definition be emailing E.stanford-xosei@chi,ac.uk

Why the need for this research?

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Statement of the Research Problem

Although there is significant literature on the issue of reparations for slavery and to a lesser degree colonisation and their legacies, much of the scholarly literature is concerned with arguments in support or opposition to reparations or the historical factors which give rise to contemporary calls for reparations. Whilst such scholarship is quite voluminous, little attention is paid to the history of reparations activism. In fact, where such research exists it concentrates on reparations historiography of US based movements and advocacy in support of reparations with no recognition or regard to the fact that reparations has been an ever present demand and goal in African Diaspora politics in Britain, not just in recent times, but also historically. Knowing the history of what has been previously done or attempted to effect or secure reparations is essential to evaluating whether or not reparations goals are achieved or not, and other ways of evaluating and measuring success. At the same time, not taking account of the history of activism towards securing reparations denies the academic community and the rest of society the opportunity to be truly informed about some of the social contexts, dynamics, politics, and richness of knowledge production in reparations movements.

This study contends that some of the most radical critiques and understandings about dominant ideologies and power structures, such as slavery, colonisation, capitalism and racism as well as progressive visions of social change, have emerged from those active in reparations movements which seek redress for or dismantling of such power structures.
The link between such knowledge(s) and praxis/action on reparations is woefully absent in scholarship on reparations in general and social movements in particular.

This study therefore seeks to problemetise whose knowledge and voice(s) are heard on reparations as the voices of those who are actively organising in pursuit of reparations are more often than not marginalised. As a corrective, this study examines the issue of reparations activism from the perspective of those in the UK, more generally, and London more specifically who have done various actions to effect and and/or effect reparations. It therefore follows in the path of scholarship in North America which has also began to examine the US based [African] Reparations Movement through the prism of those activists that have been active in such a movement. For example, reparations activists in the leading reparations coalition in the US, N’COBRA, have led in this approach to scholarship ‘through the eyes of the movement.’ (1)

In their study of historic and modern social movements for reparations in the USA, law professors and members of N’COBRA, Adjoa Aiyetoro and Adrienne Davis conducted ground breaking research; the first study to research the movement from within the movement, otherwise known as ‘insider research’. Emic and etic, in the discipline of anthropology and the social and behavioural sciences, refer to two kinds of field research done and viewpoints obtained; from within the social group (from the perspective of the subject) and from outside (from the perspective of the observer). Insider or emic research describes projects where the researcher has a direct involvement or connection with the research setting and investigates how local people think, how they perceive and categorise the world, their rules for behaviour, what has meaning for them, and how they imagine and explain things. Such research changes the gauge by which one can measure reparations movement’s effectiveness and outcomes.

Aiyetoro and Davis maintain that examining reparations ‘through the eyes of the movement’ changes the gauge by which one can measure the movement’s effectiveness and outcomes thus far. It also shifts attention away from the legal, policy and doctrinal questions that have dominated the literature on the ‘case for’ or feasibility of reparations. So, rather than focusing solely on whether a specific legal result has been obtained, i.e. financial compensation through litigation or legislative action, a social movements approach also questions how ordinary people develop a common oppositional consciousness and mobilise to confront what they perceive to be historical or contemporary injustice .

As African American historian Robin Kelley explains, such an approach is “more interested in the historical vision and imagination that has animated the movement since the days of slavery.” (2) Contemplating reparations in this way, as a social movement, poses a compelling set of other questions than simply whether or not reparations will be achieved and is concerned rather with the reparations movement’s complex, and at times competing, set of actors, institutions, and ideologies that, have been underexplored in the sociological, historical and legal literature. It concludes that conceiving of reparations as note merely a legal or political claim but as an international social movement sheds light on the context and factors leading up to the contemporary resurgence of reparations activism. In addition, such an approach provides an alternative lens through which to assess the efficacy, success and goals of the international Social Movement for African Reparations (ISMAR) as shaped by activists within the UK.

Part of the challenge of assessing the duration and purpose of reparations activism is that there is a lack of visibility and almost no recognition of a pre-existing movement which comprises actual organisations, networks and leading individuals and spokespersons. This means that wider society outside of the various networks of reparations activists and other movement actors is deprived of gaining accurate insights into the genesis, evolution and purpose of the ISMAR, and the central role that activists based or influential to organising processes in London have and continue to play in advancing the cause and movement for reparations.

As a well known reparationist, I am well placed to embark on such a study. I have been integrally involved with the ISMAR for the past thirteen years and have a key role in the founding, development of and particpation in the organising processes of several reparations social movement organisations and coalitions. These include the African United Action Front (AUAF), The Global Afrikan Congress (GAC), PARCOE, (Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe), Black United Front (BUF), the interim Nationl Afrikan Peoples Parliament (iNAPP) and now the Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament (GAPP). (3) Social movement researchers, Kevin Gillian and Jane Pickerill argue that it is a growing trend for researchers and academics, both emerging and established, to openly take on an activist-scholar identity.

(1) The study by Aiyetoro and Davis, ‘Historic and Modern Social Movements for Reparations: The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) and its Antecedents’ is one of the few to do so.

(2) R.D.G. Kelley, ‘A Day of Reckoning: Dreams of Reparations’ in Redress for Historical Injustices in the United States: On Reparations for Slavery, Jim Crow and their Legacies (Michael T. Martin and Marilyn Yaquinto eds.); (Durham & London, Duke University Press, 2007) at p. 203.

(3) A Reparations activist, the term was used by the late Professor Ali Mazrui, academic professor, and political writer on African and Islamic studies and North-South relations) in his speech ‘Global Africa: From Abolitionists To Reparationists’, Inaugural Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola Distinguished Annual Lecture (6 December, 1993), at the annual meeting of the African Studies Association of the United States held in Boston, Massachusetts, December 4-7, 1993. The speech can be found in African Studies Review, vol. 37:3 (December 1993) pp. 1-18.

Limitations of the Study

Limit

The study does not give a comprehensive history of reparations activism throughout London or indeed the British Isles and so is a partial study of the UK contingent of the ISMAR. This is due to the patchy data that exists justifying any assertion that the spread of reparations activism has taken place nationwide. Undoubtedly, the majority of primary and secondary sources pertaining to reparations organising processes in London. This study is therefore restricted to individuals, organisations and networks that have made a significant contribution to internationalising local and national reparations action/s emanating from or feeding into social action in London. Further research is required in other regions of the UK to provide a fuller complete picture of individuals and processes that also have formed part of reparations social movement building, it is my intention to do more extensive research on the reparatiosn activism outside London.

Another limitation is one of cognitive recognition of what constitutes reparations activism. The study is restricted to those who self identify their activism as being reparations activism utilising the English term ‘reparations’. It does not include a historical overview of the broader range of social action that can be classified as works towards repairing the full legacies of enslavement and colonisation, neither does it take into full consideration African cultural contexts in how African heritage communities living or organising in London understand or perceive the driven goals of reparations activism and interventions, or indeed what actions have been taken to bring them about.

Finally, the study does not outline the history of country specific reparations campaigns unless they converge with broader reparations campaigns for other African peoples beyond existing national country borders in Africa. By way of example, this study does not specifically highlight the histories of campaigns for the return of the Magdala Treasures, redress for victims of colonial era torture in Kenya, or for colonial redress as a result of the operation of colonial borders in Nigeria and the operation of Shell and other multinationals in Nigeria, which in themselves have generated distinct reparations campaigns and movements.

Significance of the Study

significanceIn this study, parallels are drawn with the approach of Professors Adjoa Aiyetoro and Adrienne Davis (2010) in their historic study of N’Cobra activists in the USA.* Like the US study of N’COBRA activists, the research being conducting is also ground-breaking in that it is also the first to research the movement from within and ‘from below’. Since this research consists of undertaking a historical study of the ISMAR rather than sociological or legal research on the case for reparations, it is important to note that reparations historiography in itself is an emerging field of academic research. Notably, this is the first historical study on the presence of an ISMAR in the UK, or indeed its local, national or international dimensions, albeit, focusing on London as a site of knowledge production and other forms of activism on reparations. Neither has there been any research conducted about living reparations activists by way of documenting their activism in pursuit of advancing the cause of reparations.

A central claim of this research is that the ISMAR is a social movement with international dimensions and one whose trajectory goes beyond the confines of the UK. It is argued that the contributions of key London based activists have global rather than just national significance. This study therefore makes an important contribution to increasing the visibility of the ISMAR in the UK and producing new and academic knowledge on the movement’s emergence, scope, goals and preliminary outcomes.

Equally of note is the fact that this study makes a scholarly contribution to developing movement relevant theory, i.e. theorising by reparations movement activists and organisers. Towards this end, the research is being conducted within the action research paradigm. Action research is essentially research through action which uses research tools and methods which not only relevant to, but also promotes the empowerment of, the African reparations community of interest. It is usually a collaborative activity – involving input from people who are likely to be affected by or who have an interest or stake in the research findings or outcomes and seeks to change the power relations inherent in the research process and society at large. Action research therefore seeks to change or improve a condition, system or practice and learn about this through changing or improving it. For the purposes of this research ‘changing practice’ includes utilising the knowledge being co-produced for advancing reparations goals by improving and strengthening existing reparations campaigning and social movement-building initiatives and processes.

One of the actions that research participants advocated for is the development of the Afrikan Reparations Transnational Community of Practice (ARTCoP), the only community of practice focusing on the co-production of knowledge on African reparations in the world. A community of practice is commonly understood to be a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.

Rather than seeking to privilege what academics and those located within formal institutions of education ‘know’ and can ‘teach’ activists about how to wage a successful reparations campaign, the ARTCoP seeks to learn from the lived experiences and community struggles of reparations activists, campaigners, the ISMAR and African and African Diaspora communities at large. In addition, telling the story of the ISMAR through the lens of key activists who have shaped it in the past twenty five years, this study will contribute to informing local and global academic, legal and policy dialogues and debates on reparations as a form of reparatory justice in the UK. Reparatory justice focuses on strategies, actions and programmes which seek to repair, in some way, the wrongs and damage caused as a result of historical and contemporary forms of injustice and also resulting in social change.

N.B. see Aiyetoro, A. & Davis, A. ‘Historic and Modern Social Movements for Reparations: The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) and its Antecedents’, 16 Tex. Wesleyan Law Review 687 (2010) http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1626991