Abstract: The National Reparations Survey, begun in 2002 and scheduled to be completed in 2008, is intended to provide to a critical mass of African Americans the opportunity to speak directly to the issue of what an achieved reparations result should look like and be about. Armed with that body of information, those who will eventually be involved in negotiating the accomplishment of reparations for African Americans will be able to do so based on the strength of what the black community has said it wants and demands. This survey utilizes 21 Yes-No inquiries, and an open-ended section to allow for respondents to suggest their own remedies not covered in the 21 questions. The respondents are both randomized African Americans and participants at African American-centered meetings, conferences and events in American cities. It is anticipated that by 2008-2009, there will be approximately 50,000 self-identified African American respondents.
Summary Introduction: At the June, 2005 NCOBRA Annual Conference, the Media and Communications Commission discussed and approved a joint effort to disseminate a National Reparations Survey instrument at the then-upcoming Millions More Movement (MMM) gathering scheduled for October 15, 2005 in Washington, D.C. That survey had already been validated, distributed, collected and collated since 2002-2003 by a group of African American university students and the community-based organization, the Reparations Research and Advocacy Group (RRAG), both coordinated by Dr. David L. Horne out of Los Angeles, California and California State University, Northridge. Dr. Horne is a lifetime member of NCOBRA.
By June, 2005, the team working on the National Reparations Survey had received and analyzed 6,680 responses (6,500 of which were identified from African Americans). The ultimate goal of the surveyors was and is to receive up to or more than 50,000 responses.
The National Reparations Survey is intended to provide to a critical mass of African Americans the opportunity to speak directly to the issue of what an achieved reparations result should look like and be about. Armed with that body of information, those who will eventually be involved in negotiating the accomplishment of reparations for African Americans will be able to do so based on the strength of what the Black community has said it wants and demands.
The Media and Communications Commission of NCOBRA arranged to jointly financewith the RRAGthe printing of 10,000 reformatted surveys for in-your-hand dissemination at the MMM gathering. The plans agreed upon included utilizing at least twelve university students, plus MCC staffers, and volunteers from Los Angeles to pass the survey out and to collect as many of them immediately as the circumstances allowed. Unfortunately, with an 11th hour change of location for NCOBRAs kiosk at the MMM mandated by the Nation of Islam (NOI) leadership, and interruption of cell phone communication (thought to be from the massive federal surveillance of the affair), those well-laid plans could not be implemented. Trying to adjust to the new situation, the L.A. volunteers moved through as much of the crowd as they could from one vantage point, and the MCC staffers and students passed out as many surveys as they had on hand, and together approximately 6,500 of the newly printed surveys got disseminated.
As a result, an estimated 250 completed surveys were collected on the spot, and 1,400 surveys were subsequently sent to the mailing address provided on the back of the survey form.
The Media and Communications Commission members, the student volunteers, and the Los Angeles visitors are to be congratulated for making a positive way out of what seemed at the time to be no way to get the job done.
They well represented NCOBRAs tradition of staying on an issue until a viable way to complete the assigned task is found, in spite of the chaos and confusion surrounding that issue.
The results of the additional 1,650 responses collected from the MMM participants raised the total of survey participants to 8,330 (8,150 self-identified African Americans). Between November, 2005 and February 15, 2006, another 1,965 responses (1,900 A.A.) were received from New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and South Carolina (Columbia and Charleston), making it a total of 10,295 responses (and 10,050 African American responses).
Between February, 2006 and December, 2007, an additional 1,850 surveys have been collected from mailed-in forms from 8 U.S. cities, and from participants at 2 regional conferences. Those responses have not yet been tabulated and integrated into the preliminary results, but that task should be completed by January 15, 2008. A major mailing of the survey will occur in February, 2008, during Black History Month, to all of the current African-centered departments and programs in U.S. colleges and universities, and to all known African American-centered community based organizations. Recipients will be asked to pass the survey out to their students, community residents, etc. By the end of 2008, the expectation is that the goal of 50,000 or more respondents should have been accomplished, and before the end of 2009, the final results should be available for public dissemination.