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Updated: Oct 21, 2023

Image: Black people laboring on a slave plantation.

National Conference of Black Lawyers

2472 Broadway #204

New York, NY 10025


SEPTEMBER 20, 2023

The National Conference of Black Lawyers decided in September 1987, at its national conference held in Boston, Massachusetts, to support the demand for reparations and join the movement for reparations.

NCBL knew it was following in the footsteps and joining the ranks of Black leaders and organizations committed to redressing the injuries to Black people of African descent caused by the crimes against humanity committed by Europeans and European Americans.

These crimes include:

  • the enslavement of African people, the maltreatment of so-called free Black people of African descent during the period of enslavement, and

  • the continuing legacy of slavery that allows Black people of African descent to be treated more harshly than white people in every area of life, including the criminal legal system, and signified by being denied meaningful access to systems that are life-supporting and affirming, including health care, education and, employment.

NCBL recognized in 1987, that its mission – to be the legal arm of the Movement for Black Liberation – required it to play a significant role in the Reparations Movement.

Therefore, its reparations work includes:

  • Being one of three co-founding organizations of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA)

  • Its national co-chairperson in 1987, Adjoa A. Aiyetoro, was the inaugural co-chairwoman of N’COBRA.

  • NCBL led N’COBRA’s Legal Strategies Commission and played a significant role in identifying and developing the five (5) injury areas that were adopted by the N’COBRA Board and continue to be part of N’COBRA’s platform.

-> Education

-> Health

-> Criminal Punishment

-> Wealth and Poverty

-> Peoplehood – the denial of Black people of African Descent’s group identity and

active efforts to keep Black people of African descent from acting on group


NCBL continues to work with N’COBRA, and among other things, provides guidance in legal matters and strategies.

NCBL attorneys were co-counsel on legal teams that brought actions to obtain reparations for the 1921Tulsa Race Massacre (Alexander v. State of Oklahoma, filed in 2003, and a case filed in 2021, Randall v. City of Tulsa) and served on the legal team that represented descendants of Africans sold by the Jesuits in 1838 to plantations in Louisiana, known as the GU272, to save Georgetown University from bankruptcy.

Georgetown students, the GU272, and other descendant groups' efforts resulted in reparations being provided by Georgetown in 2023.

NCBL members work with community groups and other legal organizations to broaden the support for reparations.

NCBL testifies in local, state, and federal hearings as well as working with grassroots groups on reparations proposals. It has not only provided testimony in support of proposals; it has provided critiques of proposals when they appear to undermine a reparations plan that addresses the injuries to Black people of African descent.

NCBL encourages local, state, and national leaders who express an interest in racial healing or closing the government-created racial disparities to support reparative justice.

For more information on NCBL’s reparations work or to get involved, contact:


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