TransAfrica Founder Randall Robinson Dies at Age 81

    Randall Robinson (Credit: Screenshot via Democracy Now on YouTube)

    *Activist, novelist, and lawyer Randall Robinson reportedly passed away on March 24 after battling a serious infection. He was 81.

    Robinson died in the Caribbean, on the island of St. Kitts. In a Facebook post, his daughter, Anike Robinson, shared a loving tribute to her father.

    “My father was an artist. He was a photographer and often did mini set designs. My mother, brother and I were the models,” she wrote, The Washington Informer reports. “My father liked to make his images timeless, outfitting us in period clothing he’d saved.” 

    Anike continued, “Daddy was the first artist I studied, worked alongside and learned the power of tools,” Robinson, who is also an artist, continued. “He made many beautiful things. He helped make three children. I am his firstborn and yesterday my dad died. I feel weird.”

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    Robinson was born July 6, 1941, in Richmond, Virginia, to teachers Doris Robinson Griffin and Maxie Cleveland Robinson. According to The Washington Informer, he earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s from Virginia Union University.

    From 1971 to 1975, Robinson practiced civil rights law in Boston before working as Congressman Charles Diggs’ administrative assistant. He also worked for the office of Congressman Bill Clay. In 1977, he founded the TransAfrica Forum to serve as an information and resource hub for the African American community.

    Robinson explained his position on reparations in “The Debt: What America Owes To Blacks,” published in 2001. According to The Washington Informer, lineage-based reparation programs are advocated in the book.

    Despite being offered an honorary degree by Georgetown University Law Center in 2003, Robinson declined it.

    Robinson’s brother was trailblazing journalist Max Robinson, who died in 1988. Robinson is survived by his two sisters, actress Jewel Robinson and pastor Jean Robinson.

    According to The Philadelphia Tribune, his other children are Jabari Robinson and Khalea Ross Robinson.

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