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Reading this book has revealed many things that I was not aware of about my own race as an African American. More Specifically, our Ancestors prosperous lives in Africa centuries “BEFORE” August 1619 provides a great sense of pride and an emotional longing to “learn more” about them that has been missing. I would recommend this book to all Americans, especially my African Brothers and Sisters in the diaspora and also to all others who truly wants to understand what it will take for the USA 🇺🇸 to start the real healing process from its 246 years of slavery, Jim Crow, and institutional racial discrimination against African Americans that have lingered on to this very day!
This is a provocative book. It has a position to advocate and is written in that style. Robinson does, I believe, hold the moral high ground. I have been to Dachau, and I am mystified why America has drawn such a curtain over its history of slavery. We are all a combination of good and evil (at least Christianity teaches that -- as well as history), and we won't grow unless we acknowledge our own evils and make amends for them. That goes for societies as well as for individuals. African Americans have a better American pedigree than many, if not most, European Americans. After all, the majority of the ancestors of European Americans came here in the 19th and 20th Centuries, while the ancestors of almost all African Americans came here before that time. While the later arriving European Americans might not have personally participated in slavery (and may have even fought against it), they do owe it to African Americans, as their older American sisters and brothers, to participate in making them whole, and in giving them the respect they deserve precisely as Americans.
This book is an eye-opener to the debt we owe Africa, the travesty of US slavery (the worst of any ever known), its terrible legacy, and the need to re-write world history. On the other hand, I found the author's stance to be somewhat off-putting as the book was full of his own accomplishments and at least one personal story about a young girl, a friend of his daughter's, who was denied the chance to continue her private school education. The story itself was sad, but Robinson prefaced it by saying that the girl and her mother had to catch a bus home from her third grade graduation while the other parents, (presumably Robinson included) drove away in their expensive cars. I found myself wondering why Robinson didn't offer them a ride...perhaps it would have destroyed the drama of the story, but I found myself wondering about the compassion of the man.
This is a well written book about American racism and how slavery was at the genesis of the American Nation State. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, etc... were all racists who owned slaves and participated in the African American Holocaust. He also mentions the Native American Holocaust, however briefly. It could have more focus and direction. But, at its core, this book is a much need source to counter the American patriotic nationalistic propaganda in American textbooks and monuments.
He asks the ultimate question, how can blacks (and any minorities) look at the monuments of the so-called founding fathers with pride?
The Debt is an outstanding and profound book. Randall Robinson is an exceptional writer who brings scholarship and poetic prose together in a brilliant analysis of racism in the United States. His analysis is spot-on and totally convincing. And his arguments for reparations are irrefutable! What ghastly revelations Mr. Robinson reveals to the reader of this magnificent book. Highly recommended reading, especially for white people, of which I am one. This is not only a great book about racism - I would consider it one of the great books of contemporary American Literature. I look forward to reading Mr. Robinson's other books and learning more about the Trans-Africa organization.
An excellent book that should be required reading for every American college history student. It tells the history of the African American experience focusing on the narrative perspective of African Americans. It starts with African History before slavery, a subject that has been well documented but seldom read or seriously studied by European Americans. It makes a clear and inarguable argument for some form of reparations for the state sanctioned public and private wealth stolen from African Americans.
This book is a few years old now and it's still timely. Prof. Robinson is a rare voice in the Civil Rights symposium in that he is at once objectively erudite and relatable because of his transparency. This book has definitely aided my thinking on the subject of comparative human rights.