Niagara University’s Social Justice Speaker Series featured Dr. Edward Onaci, the author of “Free the Land: The Republic of New Afrika and the Pursuit of a Black Nation-State,” during a Zoom presentation on Oct. 20. Dr. Onaci is associate professor of history at Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pa. 

His presentation was titled “Exploitation, Not Reparation: What 21st Century Activists Can Learn from the Endurance of Racial Capitalism and the Valiant Struggles Against It.” He also discussed the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, which was founded in 1989 and adopted the ideas of the New Afrikan Independence Movement.

“People who say Black Lives Matter are expressing a basic desire to be valued on their own terms and for their own self-defined goals,” he said. “Even something like Black Lives Matter … potentially has the power to move us toward reparation and ultimately to defeat the conditions that make exploitation possible.” 

Niagara University’s Social Justice Speaker Series was developed in conjunction with Burning Books of Buffalo and intends to engage the campus and the broader community in discussions about political and social justice struggles by introducing the ideas of the individuals who have been active participants and who have led them. 

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