KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – The main opposition People’s National Party (PNP) Wednesday paid tribute to United States civil rights icon and black reparations campaigner Randall Robinson, who died in St. Kitts-Nevis last Friday.
In a statement, the PNP said that Robinson, who died of pneumonia at 81 in his adopted homeland, was a “dear friend” of Jamaica.
“Robinson’s life represented the finest traditions of black international activism. The PNP records its deepest respect for this icon in the struggle for justice and extends its deepest sympathy to his wife, Hazel Ross-Robinson, and his children,” the PNP said.
The opposition party said the former Penn State Law Professor and founder of the TransAfrica Forum had, through his organization, promoted diversity and equity in foreign policy as well as justice for the African world.
“It was this work to analyze and criticize US policy as it affected Africa and the African Diaspora, including the West Indies, as victims of the Transatlantic slave trade, which endeared him to Jamaicans and Caribbean people,” the PNP said.
The opposition party recalled his advocacy for reparations and social justice. It said he advanced from a principled position of racial equality and against all forms of racial injustices—using his TransAfrica Forum, which he founded in 1977.
To dramatize his position, he staged a sit-in at the South African Embassy in Washington to protest against apartheid. He went on a hunger strike to pressure the US government to reinstate Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide.
The PNP said Robinson’s contribution to advancing the cause of black people everywhere was tremendous, and his work was immense, courageous, and distinguished. It said he had visited Jamaica several times as a guest of the party and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust to deliver the bi-centennial lecture in October 2007.