Randall Robinson, a human legal rights activist and law firm recognised for his advocacy in opposition to South African apartheid and for Haitian democracy, died Friday at age 81. He died in St. Kitts, the Caribbean island exactly where he expended the final two decades of his existence, of aspiration pneumonia.
“He was an amazing father,” mentioned Khalea Ross Robinson, his daughter, who confirmed his loss of life to NPR on Sunday. “He did a large amount on behalf of people today he hadn’t even met.”
Robinson was one of the leaders of the Cost-free South Africa Movement, which commenced in the 1980s and pushed to end apartheid. He “led a variety of overseas policy campaigns in his lifetime-long advocacy in defense of democracy and justice in Africa and the Caribbean,” a press launch from Robinson’s spouse and children claims.
Robinson founded the Washington, D.C.-based international coverage advocacy group TransAfrica in 1977 to boost “diversity and equity in the overseas policy arena and justice for the African Earth” including the African diaspora, in accordance to the group’s mission assertion. He served as the president of the group right up until 2001.
Through his time at TransAfrica, he organized a sit-in at the South African embassy to foyer versus apartheid and went on a 27-day starvation strike to stress the U.S. federal government to reinstate Haiti’s democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, among a lot of other actions. He was also a top voice advocating for reparations for Black Americans.
He was born in Richmond, Va., in 1941, and attributed his activism afterwards in everyday living to his ordeals of segregation.
“The insult of segregation was searing and unforgettable,” he claimed in a 2005 interview with The Progressive Magazine. He stated joining the social justice movement was “salvaging. We all have to die, and I most popular to have just one particular death. It appears to me that to undergo insult with out reaction is to die many fatalities.”
Before founding TransAfrica and starting to be recognized for his political activism, he gained a J.D. at Harvard Law College and worked as a civil legal rights lawyer in Boston. He served as a professor of human rights regulation at Penn State University and wrote various books.
In 2001, Robinson left the United States to settle in St. Kitts in the Caribbean, with his spouse, Hazel Ross-Robinson. In one of his publications, he clarifies that he remaining the U.S. for a position that he viewed as additional tranquil and hospitable to Black men and women.
“I never ever thought my place was automatically bodily in The us,” he instructed NPR in 2004. “I am as substantially a Nigerian, a Haitian, a South African, a Kittitian, a Jamaican as I am an American. There shouldn’t be these partitions involving the individuals of the Black planet. I have lived that and I have dedicated myself to that in anything that I have completed all through my everyday living.”
A funeral provider will be held in St. Kitts in April, and a memorial services will be held in Washington, D.C., in May well, in accordance to the spouse and children.