Photo: T. Johnson AALBC.com
Randall Robinson is the author of An Unbroken Agony
and the national best sellers The Debt, The Reckoning, and Defending the Spirit. He is also founder and past president
of TransAfrica, the African-American organization he established to promote
enlightened, constructive U.S. policies toward Africa and the Caribbean.
In 1984, Robinson established the Free South Africa Movement, which pushed successfully for the imposition of sanctions against apartheid South Africa; and in 1994, his public advocacy, including a 27-day hunger strike, led to the UN multinational operation that restored Haiti's first democratically elected government to power.
Mr. Robinson lives with his wife and daughter in St. Kitts
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: OpenLens; NONE edition (September 13, 2011)
"Makeda is brilliant and path-breaking, filled with passion and
compassion. It took hold in my heart and wouldn't let go. A scholar and a
poet uncompromisingly committed to justice, Randall Robinson is a rare and
exquisite writer. This novel will burn into your brain long after you've
left its haunting pages."
--Susan L. Taylor, former Editor in chief Essence magazine.
Makeda Gee Florida Harris March is a proud matriarch, the anchor and
emotional bellwether who holds together a hard-working African American
family living in 1950s Richmond, Virginia. Lost in shadow is Makeda's
grandson Gray, who begins escaping into the magical world of Makeda's tiny
parlor. Makeda, a woman blind since birth but who has always dreamed in
color, begins to confide in Gray the things she "sees" and remembers from
her dream state, and a story emerges that is layered with historical
accuracy beyond the scope of Makeda's limited education. Gradually, Gray
begins to make a connection between his grandmother's dreams and the epic
life of an African queen described in the Bible.
Part coming-of-age story, part spiritual journey, and part love story, Makeda is a universal tale of family, heritage, and the ties that bind. Randall Robinson plumbs the hearts of Makeda and Gray and summons our collective blood memories, taking the reader on an unforgettable journey of the soul that will linger long after the last page has been turned.
An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Basic Civitas (June 25, 2007)
On February 29th, 2004 the democratically elected president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was forced to leave his country. The twice elected President was kidnapped, along with his Haitian-American wife, American soldiers and flown, against his will, to the isolated Central African Republic. Although the American government has denied ousting Aristide it was clear that the Haitian people's most recent attempt at self-determination had not been crushed by Haitian paramilitaries as Washington claimed.
In An Unbroken Agony, bestselling author and social justice advocate Randall Robinson explores the heroic and tragic history of Haiti. He traces the history of a people forced across the Atlantic in chains; recounting their spectacularly successful slave revolt against France and the two hundred years of reprisals that would follow. The fate of Aristide's presidency is tied to this people's century-long quest for self-determination and his removal from power exposes the apartheid-like forces that frustrate these aspirations even today. Robinson majestically chronicles the convulsive history of this island nation'from Columbus's arrival to the fearlessness of the slave revolutionaries who defeated the armies of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804, wresting from France the most valuable colony of any European power anywhere in the world; from the ideals of the young republic, to the foreign backed dictators who corrupted those ideals, culminating in the American led operation removing from power Haiti's first democratically elected president and his entire government in 2004. Robinson captures the pride and courage of the Haitian people in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. With his passionate prose, Robinson brings alive the powerful memory of the Haitian revolution in the souls of ordinary citizens and shows the boundless desire of all Haitians to chart their own destiny'free of foreign interference.
Quitting America: The Departure of a Black Man from His Native Land
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Format: Hardcover, 288pp
Pub. Date: January 2004
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Randall Robinson is quitting America, and this book charts his journey from the most powerful nation on earth to the tiny tropical island where his wife was born. His search for a more peaceful and hospitable place grew out of the disappointment and increasing sense of abandonment he felt in the land of his own birth-an America that has sapped the creative energies of his race and has "transfigured humanity."
Reckoning: What Blacks Owe To Each Other
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Format: Hardcover, 288pp.
Pub. Date: January 2002
In The Reckoning, Robinson provides
startling insights into prominent Americans' roles in the crime and poverty that
grip much of urban America, and rallies black Americans to speak out-and reach
back-to ensure that the largely forgotten poor of black America get their chance
at the American dream. The Reckoning grew out of Robinson's work with
gang members, ex-convicts, and others profoundly scarred by environments of
extreme poverty and its unshakable shadow-crime. The Reckoning pays
homage to residents of these neighborhoods waging heroic struggles to free their
communities from economic blight and social pathology. Robinson calls on black
Americans of all ages and classes to join this crucial battle to bring the
residents of America's inner cities to safe harbor.
"Randall Robinson is an authentic hero and a true patriot. He loves his country but is unafraid to rebuke or expose its sins. America is indebted to her black people, and Randall makes the case for why we must not and cannot accept a check marked 'insufficient funds.'" (Tavis Smiley, author and former host BET Tonight)
"Randall Robinson is the greatest pro-Africa fighter of his generation in America. His powerful and poignant story of personal and political struggle is one of vision, courage, and sacrifice." (Cornel West, Harvard University professor and author of Race Matters)
Debt: What America Owes to Blacks
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Format: Paperback, 272pp.
Publisher: N A L
Pub. Date: December 2000
In Randall Robinson's view, racial problems can't
be solved until America is willing to face up to the devastating effects of
slavery and educate all Americans, black and white, about the history of Africa
and its people.
In his recent book, the highly successful Defending the Spirit: A Black Life in America, Robinson makes a stirring call to form the next legion of African-American leadership. Now, in The Debt, he argues that reclaiming the lost history of Africa and African-Americans will help provide a much-needed springboard for solving many of today's problems-from finding new leadership within the black community to developing meaningful educational programs to helping black people empower themselves economically. Robinson also argues that the United States must be prepared to make restitution to African-Americans for 246 years of slavery, and the century of de jure racial discrimination that followed, via major educational programs and economic development. Robinson offers a solution-oriented approach to controversial issues of social justice in a style that is both personal and informative.
"This is a memoir shot through with
love...hard-earned, deep and true."
is a very important book that should be read by everyone in America."
Short on money, long on self-confidence and values, Randall Robinson came out of the segregated South to make his mark on the American scoreboard: he graduated from Harvard Law School and began a career as a political activist. But somewhere along the way, Robinson, who went on to become the founder and president of TransAfrica, came to realize that none of his efforts - or the efforts of his fellow African-Americans across the nation - was making a difference. This searing memoir, written by one of today's most distinguished African-American political figures, paints a vivid and compelling picture of racism, not just in the American South or in South Africa, but in such sophisticated, seemingly enlightened communities as Harvard University and Washington, D.C. Robinson describes his visits to Caribbean and African trouble spots, from the social strife of the western Sahara to South Africa, where he played a significant role in the dismantling of apartheid, to the restoration of democracy in Haiti. Robinson's tireless efforts to end racism worldwide led to the creation of TransAfrica, the first organization to advocate the interests of African and Caribbean peoples. His actions have altered the course of American foreign policy on more than one occasion. And now Randall Robinson has undertaken the extraordinary task of confronting racism within Washington's elite power structure and educating a new generation of political and social leaders.