10 Quotes From Black Revolutionary And Separatist Imari Obadele

Written by PK Krentsil
10 quotes from Imari Obadele, who pioneered Black liberation and reparations. Obadele encouraged fellow fighters to “walk together…and don’t get weary.”Imari Abubakari Obadele (Richard B. Henry), 1969. Photo: Republic of New Afrika, courtesy of Walter P. Reuther Library, archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University

Imari Obadele was a pioneer in the struggle for Black liberation and one of the first leaders of the modern reparations movement.

Born in 1930, Obadele organized in his Philadelphia community as a teen. He encouraged draft dodging in response to military segregation and founded the United Negro Assemblage with his brother Milton (Gaidi Obadele). A student of Malcolm X, Obadele remained committed to his mission despite the struggle he endured pursuing his goals.

Obadele encouraged fellow fighters to “walk together…and don’t get weary.” He died in 2010. 

Here are 10 quotes from Black revolutionary and separatist Imari Obadele. Many of these quotes are taken from a 2000 interview with political scientist Robert C. Smith.

Black separatism in America

“Our struggle – no less than that of the Azanians, the Zimbabweans, the Guineans – is a struggle for land

Solidarity across the diaspora

“We in America and our people throughout the diaspora must work together. N’COBRA is involved in this work.”

Brother Milton’s influence

“As teenagers, myself and my neighborhood buddies, as Explorer Scouts, avidly followed Milton’s struggle as it was reported in the Pittsburgh Courier and other Afro-American national newspapers. His dauntless struggle — particularly as he continued his fight against racism when he returned home — inspired all of us, including myself, to make a commitment to ending our people’s oppression and injustice.”

Malcolm X’s ‘Message to the Grassroots’ speech

“This was a turning point in my political life.”

Racial divisiveness and white discomfort

“We are supposed to allow a nation of thieves, the whites, to remain comfortable with the wealth and rectitude stolen from us?”

The future of reparations

“In the next several years, reparations will be won and we will begin to use the proceeds in the best manner to repair ourselves as a people and once more provide black genius to the world.”

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Black self-determination after emancipation

“We should have been asked — as a group and individually — what we wanted to choose as our political future.”

Randall Robinson’s ‘The Debt: What America Owes Blacks’

“Mr. Robinson’s book has helped to make reparations a household word, coming after 10 years of struggle by N’COBRA.”

Detractors of the separatist movement

“Our effort is to recruit those who do believe that creating a state as independent as Canada is possible and will work to achieve it. People have a right to believe it is a fantasy. But what’s new?”

Black optimism

“Many New African people, unfortunately, must have our souls repaired and appreciate our history. We have always achieved things that were supposed to be impossible.”