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*The Republic of New Africa was founded on this date in 1968. The Republic of New Afrika (RNA) is a black nationalist organization and black separatist movement in the United States popularized by black militant groups. The New Afrika movement has three goals:
· Creation of an independent black-majority country situated in the Southeastern United States, in the heart of an area with a black-majority population.
· Payment by the federal government of several billion dollars in reparations to African American descendants of slaves for the damages inflicted on Africans and their descendants by chattel enslavement, Jim Crow laws, and modern-day forms of racism.
· A referendum of all African Americans to determine their desires for citizenship; movement leaders say their ancestors were not offered a choice after emancipation in 1865 following the American Civil War.
The Black Government Conference was convened by the Malcolm X Society and the Group on Advanced Leadership (GOAL). The attendees produced a Declaration of Independence (signed by 100 conferees out of approximately 500), a constitution, and the framework for a provisional government. Robert F. Williams, human rights advocate then living in exile in China, was chosen as the first president of the provisional government; attorney Milton Henry was named first vice president, and Betty Shabazz served as second vice president. The Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika (PG-RNA) advocated a form of cooperative economics through building New Communities—named after the Ujamaa concept promoted by Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere.
It proposed militant self-defense by building local people's militias and a standing army to be called the Black Legion and building racially-based organizations to champion the right of self-determination for people of black African descent. The organization was involved in numerous issues. For example, it attempted to assist the Oceanhill-Brownsville area in Brooklyn to secede from the United States during the 1968 conflict over the control of public schools. Additionally, it was involved with shootouts at New Bethel Baptist Church in 1969 (during the first anniversary of the founding) and another in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1971. (It had announced that the capital of the Republic would be in Hinds County, Mississippi, located on a member's farm.)
In the confrontations, law-enforcement officials were killed and injured. Organization members were prosecuted for the crimes. Their vision for this country was first promulgated by the Malcolm X Society at a Black Government Conference held in Detroit, Michigan. The conference participants drafted a constitution and declaration of independence, and they identified five Southern states (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina) as subjugated national territories.