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ISBN: 978-0-9853353-4-2    198  pages   $20.00
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Proceedings of the
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an international NGO in consultative status with the United Nations

On April 20-21, 2012, the IHRAAM-sponsored Conference

FROM CIVIL RIGHTS TO HUMAN RIGHTS AND SELF- DETERMINATION? sought to catalyze a turning point in theAfrican American struggle.

The Civil Rights movement that Martin Luther King assumed, five decades ago, would be “not long” in bringing “freedom” is now history. Affirmative action has shot its bolt. While its achievements are evident—Black faces appear in mainstream politics, academia, corporations and the media—the African American people at large face ongoing discrimination, mass incarceration and unemployment, prohibitive voting laws,growing destitution and legalized vigilante terrorism.

The IHRAAM Conference provided a major mechanism toengage leading African American political thinkers in examining the potential that international human rights law and norms, and best state practices on internal self- determination might hold for African American collective development within the United States in the future.

Key representatives from the African American popularleadership and intelligentsia flew into Chicago from all corners–-California, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, New York, South Carolina, Washington, and Virginia—to assess, in this context, where the African American struggle had been, where it was now, and the direction it had to go to move forward.

Speakers focused on the key issues of the recognition,maintenance and protection of African Americans’ collective identity, their need for collective social and economic development, and the significance of a territorial homeland.
Most importantly, they agreed on the need for a democraticallyempowered political body such as a Consultative Assembly to specifically represent and act on behalf of the unique needs
of African Americans. As a historically oppressed people,African Americans have the right to self-determination under international law.


Is the African American Struggle Heading in a New

Opening Address
Dr. Farid I. Muhammad

Memorial Tribute to Dr. Y. N. Kly
Diana Collier Kly


Understanding Who You Are
Cynthia McKinney

From Hallowed to Hollowed Victories:
Black Civil Rights and the Post-Racialism Imagination
Dr. Tyson King-Meadows

Dying While Black
Prof. Vernalia Randall


External Self-determination and Internal Self-determination in Quebec, Canada
Prof. Daniel Turp

Seeking Sovereignty: The Need for an Identifiable Place
Dr. Ava Muhammad

Using International Human Rights to Protect Indigeneity
Prof. Carla Pratt

African Americans’ Right to Self-Determination

Francis A. Boyle


National Survey on African American Self-Determination
Dr. Farid I. Muhammad

Do We Need Self-Determining Institutions?
Atty. Chokwe Lumumba

The Land is the Key
Dr. John Boyd

Policy Drives African American Conditions
Henry L. English

Economics of Self-Determination:
The Afrikan Descendant Nation in America
Kamm Howard


Using the UN to Pressure America
Atty. Standish Willis

Disya We Land:  Continued Self-Determination of the
Gullah'Geechee Nation
Queen Quet

Minority Rights: Some Questions & Answers
Y.N. Kly & Diana Kly
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Did the civil rights struggle reach its peak with the election of a Black President? Are civil rights sufficient to ensure African Americans equality in social well being indicators such as health, employment, income, education, home ownership, etc? What are African Americans international human rights under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)? Has US policy fulfilled these rights and obligations? What is the current status of special measures (affirmative action) in the US, as required by CERD and other relevant international human rights instruments?

Are there any institutional or constitutional options for oppressed peoples other than assimilation or secession? What is internal self-determination? What is the difference between affirmative action and internal self-determination? What are some possible forms of internal self-determination exercised by other internal nations elsewhere, or even here in the U.S.? What can we learn from the successful practices of other states for ensuring minority cultural protection and equal-status development? Do the peoples exercising internal self-determination have to be territorially based, or are there non-territorial forms of self-determination?

Are African Americans a people,? Do they want a collective future or do they want to assimilate? Should they conduct a national plebiscite to help identify/implement their collective
aspirations? Should they establish a Constituent Assembly to speak for them and operate in collaboration with other levels of US government? Are there some government jurisdictions better off if run for themselves by African Americans? Should they seek a share of their own federal/ state tax dollars on a regular basis? Might such ideas, if constitutionally empowered, be viewed as the logical goals of a comprehensive reparations movement? 


While African Americans have achieved civil rights, it has not ended their collective oppression in America.  This book is a pathbreaker for the next stage in the struggle, and key to understanding the special rights African Americans enjoy under international law.


John W. Boyd, Jr. founded the National Black Farmer’s Association, and helped to bring the plight of black farmers to the nation's attention by leading NBFA members in a march on the White House, meeting with President Clinton, and to testifying before Congress. He has been  featured in The Washington Post, "60 Minutes," "Nightline," CNN and as ABC News Tonight's "Person of the Week." He is a past nominee for the NAACP's highest honor, The Springarn  Award, and currently ranks as one of Ebony Magazine's most influential African Americans.

Francis A. Boyle teaches international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign.  He was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the American implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. He served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International (1988-1992), and represented Bosnia-Herzegovina at the World Court where he argued and won two World Court Orders for Bosnia on the basis of the 1948 Genocide Convention. He served as legal adviser to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East peace negotiations from 1991 to 1993. In 2007, he delivered the Bertrand Russell Peace Lectures. He holds a Doctor of Law Magna Cum Laude as well as a Ph.D. in Political Science, both from Harvard University. He is a Member of the IHRAAM Directorate.

 Henry L. English  serves as the President and CEO of the Black United Fund of Illinois, which works to create, support, and sustain African American social, economic, cultural, and educational institutions and to improve the quality of life for African Americans through reliance on self-help at the local community level.  He is also the Chief Fiscal Officer of the PEOPLE Programme (Public Elected Officials and others for Policy Leadership and Exchange).   

 Kamm Howard  is a leading figure with the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (NCOBA). He has served on the National Board and is currently the National Co-Chair of its Legislation Commission working to get HR 40, the Commission to Study Reparations Proposals for African Americans Act, passed into law. Kamm co-founded the Amos N. Wilson Book Club and the Amos N. Wilson Institute.  

Tyson King-Meadows, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Prof. King-Meadows is president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS).

Chokwe Lumumba is an Attorney and the National Chairman and a cofounder of the New Afrikan People’s Organization (N.A.P.O.) and has served as chairperson since its inception in 1984 having been re-elected to the position in 2004. On July 7, 2009, Chokwe Lumumba was seated as Ward 2 City Councilperson in Jackson, MS.  In 1977, Chokwe Lumumba briefly served as Attorney for Black Liberation Army Soldier, Assata Shakur, in a murder case which was dismissed in Brooklyn, New York.   

Cynthia McKinney is the 2008 Green Party Candidate for President of the United States, and a former  Congresswoman representing the State of Georgia.  While in Congress, she supported the creation of a Palestinian State in the Israel-occupied territory, sparked controversy by criticizing American policy in the Middle East, and criticized the U.S. government’s response to Hurricane Katrina.  

Dr. Ava Muhammad is the National Spokesperson for Minister Louis Farrakhan. She holds s Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law School and was admitted to the New York Bar.  Her earliest professional experience was in law enforcement, in the New York State Office ofChild Support Enforcement and later served as an Assistant District Attorney in Queens, New York.  She is the author of several books and has been recognized by Essence as one of the 30 most influential Black women in America in 2000.

Dr. Farid I.  Muhammad currently serves as the Chairman of the Department of Behavioral & Social Sciences at East-West University (EWU) in Chicago, Illinois. He also serves as a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference’s Board of Trustees, /Board Steering Committee, and Interim Executive Council for the American Islamic College (Chicago, Illinois, USA) As an IHRAAM Director, he has represented IHRAAM in a variety of international and domestic venues. 

Carla D. Prattis Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at Penn State University, Dickinson School of Law where she has taught courses in Constitutional Law, Race and American Law, and Criminal Law.   Prior to entering academia, Professor Pratt practiced civil litigation in the NJ Attorney General’s Office and the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath,, LLP in Philadelphia.  

Queen Quet is the first Queen Mother and official spokesperson for the Gullah/Geechee Nation, Queen Quet spoke on behalf of her people before the United Nations in Genevé, Switzerland.  In 2008, she was recorded at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France at a United Nations Conference to have
the human rights story of the Gullah/Geechee people archived for the United Nations. She is an IHRAAM Director.

Vernellia Randall is Professor at the School of Law and the recipient of the Ohio Commission on Minority Health Chairman’s Award. Involved in public health work for more than 15 years, Professor Randall focused on eliminating disparities in health care for minorities and the poor. Professor Randall has also served as a grant reviewer for the National Institute of Health. She has been recognized in Who's Who in the World since 1995 and Who's Who in the United States since 1998.    

Daniel Turp is a professor at the Faculty of Law of the Université de Montréal since 1982. He lectures in the area of Public International Law, International and Constitutional Human Rights Law and Advanced Constitutional Law. Professor Turp served as member of the House of Commons of Canada for Beauharnois-Salaberry from 1997 to 2000 and was the Bloc Québécois' critic for Foreign and
Intergovernmental Affairs. 

Stan Willis practices law in Chicago, Illinois, specializing in personal injury, criminal defense, and federal rights cases.   During his over 25 years of legal practice, Stan advocated for the human rights of African Americans in US. courts and before international bodies including  the United Nations’ Committee to Eliminate Racial Discrimination (CERD); the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; and submitted reports as part of its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United States.  He also co-founded and co-chaired Black People Against Police Torture “BPAPT”.

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