National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA)



Washington, DC


Reparations Advocacy Group




Kamm Howard

Masharika Jywanza

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The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in Africa (N’COBRA) advocates reparations for Black Americans from governments and businesses. N’COBRA has chapters throughout the United States, as well as in London, England and in Ghana.

N’COBRA was founded in 1987 at a conference by members of the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the New Afrikan Peoples Organization, and the Republic of New Afrika. 1 Though N’COBRA is focused on reparations for Black Americans, the organization is part of a global reparations movement and has been involved in the World Conference Against Racism, the Non-Governmental Organization Forum, and the African and African Descendants Conference. 2

N’COBRA helped craft U.S. Congressional proposals to study the question of reparations. N’COBRA has associated with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. 3


N’COBRA seeks reparations for “all Black people of African descent in the United States” for the harms and legacy of the transatlantic slave trade and subsequent oppressive U.S. government policies. N’COBRA asserts that reparations should take the form of “cash payments, land, economic development, and repatriation resources,” as well as scholarships, community-development funds, positive media depictions, the return of artifacts to “appropriate people or institutions,” exonerations of alleged political prisoners, and repeal of discriminatory laws. 4

N’COBRA states that reparations should be paid by governments and corporations that benefitted from slavery. Individuals and families who benefitted should also be encouraged to contribute. 5

The group states that the goal of reparations is to cultivate a political, economic, and social context to support Black Americans and end racial disparity. Reparations would also “allow United States’ residents to make peace with a significant part of this country’s shameful past” and create a more just nation. 6

In 2021, N’COBRA released a report claiming that Black Americans had sustained genetic harm from “ancestral traumas” due to systematic racism over multiple generations. The claim is based on epigenetics, or the study of how environmental factors impact genes. The report acknowledges that epigenetic research is still ongoing, but asserts that “The extant data on transgenerational epigenetic inheritance strongly suggest that racial trauma and ancestral adversities can negatively impact descendants across multiple generations.” 7

Political Activism

N’COBRA primarily promotes its goals through education, rallies, conferences, and political advocacy. In 1988, N’COBRA supported and helped draft the Commission to Study Reparations Proposals for African Americans Act, a bill introduced by then-Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI). The bill was voted out of committee in 2021 during the 117th Congress and has received support from the NAACP. 8 9 10

N’COBRA has also supported state-level reparations bills in Michigan, Louisiana, California, Illinois, and Ohio, as well as in Washington, D.C. 11

N’COBRA denounced the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after it raided locations associated with the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) and the Uhuru Movement, an American-based movement that supports reparations and an African variant of socialism, in 2022. APSP officials denied any wrongdoing and condemned the FBI raids. 12 13

In a 2020 toolkit, Movement for Black Lives referred to N’COBRA for guidance on fighting for reparations. 14

Louis Farrakhan

N’COBRA is an ally of Louis Farrakhan, the controversial leader of the Nation of Islam, an antisemitic and anti-white organization. In 2019, at the 30th Annual N’COBRA Convention, the organization gave its President Imari Obadele & Queen Mother Audley Moore Reparations Lifetime Achievement Award to Farrakhan. Farrakhan was also the event’s keynote speaker. 15

Farrakhan praised N’COBRA before the 2002 Millions for Reparations March. 16

Paellmann Lawsuit

N’COBRA supported litigation filed by Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, a former N’COBRA law clerk, against FleetBoston Financial, CSX, Aetna, and their “predecessors” and “successors.” According to the lawsuit, these corporations profited from slavery and therefore owe damages to Black Americans. Some companies targeted by the litigation apologized for their companies’ past actions. 17 18


  1. “N’COBRA.” Reparations 4 Slavery. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  2. “Index.” N’COBRA. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  3. “Sen. Cory Booker Asked for Support from Pro-Farrakhan Group For Reparations Bill.” Capital Research Center. June 26, 2019. Accessed October 15, 2022.
  4. [1] “Index.” N’COBRA. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  5. “Index.” N’COBRA. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  6. “Index.” N’COBRA. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  7. “N’COBRA National Coalition Of Blacks For Reparations In America.” N’COBRA Online. 2021. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  8. “Index.” N’COBRA. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  9. “Reaffirming Reparations H.R. 40.” NAACP. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  10. King, Maya. “Reparations Bill Approved out of Committee in Historic Vote.” POLITICO, April 15, 2021.
  11. “Index.” N’COBRA. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  12. “Press Statement.” N’COBRA. August 3, 2022. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  13. Rogers, Avery Lee; Wicentowski, Danny. “St. Louis has a new basketball court. Its funders were raided by the FBI.” St. Louis NPR. August 26, 2022. Accessed October 15, 2022.
  14. “Reparations Now Toolkit.” Movement for Black Lives. Accessed October 13, 2022.
  15. “Sen. Cory Booker Asked for Support from Pro-Farrakhan Group For Reparations Bill.” Capital Research Center. June 26, 2019. Accessed October 15, 2022.
  16. “Sen. Cory Booker Asked for Support from Pro-Farrakhan Group For Reparations Bill.” Capital Research Center. June 26, 2019. Accessed October 15, 2022.
  17. “The Paellman Lawsuit.” N’COBRA. April 24, 2022. Accessed October 15, 2022.
  18. Fears, Daryl. “Seeking more than apologies for slavery.” NBC News. June 19, 2005. Accessed October 15, 2022.
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National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA)

Washington, DC