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Adjoa Aiyetoro

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Information about Adjoa Aiyetoro

Profile image of Adjoa Aiyetoro

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Civic Activist
Civil Rights Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Ice Cream (Thai)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
4/1/1946
Birth Location:
St. Louis, Missouri

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Civic Activist
Civil Rights Lawyer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Ice Cream (Thai)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
4/1/1946
Birth Location:
St. Louis
See how Adjoa Aiyetoro is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Civil rights lawyer and civic activist Adjoa Aiyetoro received an A.B. degree from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1967, and two years later graduated from George Warren Brown School of Social Work with an M.S.W. degree. In 1978, she graduated cum laude from St. Louis University School of Law and was admitted to the Missouri Bar that year.

Aiyetoro worked as a community mental health specialist from 1970 to 1977. After obtaining her law degree, she served as staff attorney with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (1978-1982) and then as an attorney with the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (1982-1993). As director of the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL) from 1993 to 1997, she intensified its advocacy efforts and strengthened the organization's fiscal position. Her legal activism within the NCBL has included criminal justice issues, the environmental justice movement, the D.C. statehood movement, and reparations for Africans and African descendants.

A leader in the reparations movement - which seeks acknowledgment that the transatlantic slave trade, slavery and colonialism were crimes against humanity - Aiyetoro is chief legal consultant to the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N'COBRA) and co-chairperson of the Reparations Coordinating Committee. She has also represented the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom's UFORJE (United for Racial Justice: Truth, Reparations, Restoration and Reconciliation) campaign. In 2001, she was selected by the African and African Descendants Caucus to contribute to an international presentation and declaration and program of action concerning reparations.

As a visiting professor and scholar in residence at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Aiyetoro focused on chattel slavery and its legacy and taught a seminar on reparations. She is an adjunct professor at Washington College of Law, American University, where she teaches a course on litigating reparations for African Americans. Aiyetoro has served on the board of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR) and the Steering Committee of the National Association of Black Social Workers. She is a popular speaker at international conferences and on national and local television and radio programs. She has testified before Congress and other legislative bodies concerning issues of race, class and gender injustices within the United States.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Adjoa Aiyetoro's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Adjoa Aiyetoro lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her maternal family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her maternal family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about how her parents met and her sibling
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes growing up in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her childhood interests and activities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her family's civic and political involvement
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes being raised in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her religious views as a youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her father's response to her opposing religious views
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her grade school experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the deep roots of her mother's family in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about her favorite subjects in school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Adjoa Aiyetoro comments on not studying black history in school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her father's experiences with discrimination
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the type of student she was in grade school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her experiences attending Gundlach School in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her experiences attending Beaumont High School in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes watching Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech on television with her father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes how attending Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts increased her race consciousness
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the cultural experiences she missed because she attended a predominately white university
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about her black classmates at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her social life as a student at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes how attending Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts shaped her identity
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about the teachers and students who influenced her as a student at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her student activism at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes attending the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her activism in the early 1970s in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes intertwining her mental health social worker and her activism
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes how the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. affected her community in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes working with the Community Mental Health Department in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about mental illness and the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the conditions in the Pruitt-Igoe housing projects in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about enrolling at St. Louis University School of Law
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her experiences attending St. Louis University School of Law
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes how she acquired her African name
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her involvement in the National Conference of Black Lawyers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Adjoa Aiyetoro comments on the term "radical"
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her involvement with the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes representing Geronimo Pratt
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Adjoa Aiyetoro comments on the data surrounding criminal punishment in the United States
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about working for the Civil Rights Division for the U.S. Department of Justice, and the American Civil Liberties Union
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Adjoa Aiyetoro recalls consulting with Tupac Shakur regarding his treatment in prison
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes representing Minnesota Judge Lajune Lange, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes representing Minnesota Judge Lajune Lange, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes her role as the Director of Administration for the Congressional Black Caucus and serving as a university visiting professor
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the nineteenth century Reparations Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes General William T. Sherman's Special Field Order No. 15
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the Freedman's Bureau Act
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the system of slavery
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about the legal foundations of the Reparations Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Adjoa Aiyetoro explains how the vestiges of slavery contribute to contemporary issues surrounding race and class
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about the people and groups who support reparations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes how the legacy of slavery and the failure of Reconstruction shaped an oppressive American system, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes how the legacy of slavery and the failure of Reconstruction shaped an oppressive American system, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the intricacies of reparations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about the H.R. 40 Reparations Bill, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about the H.R. 40 Reparations Bill, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about the Durban 400 Conference, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about the Durban 400 Conference, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes the United States' withdrawal from the Durbin 400 Conference
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Adjoa Aiyetoro shares her hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Adjoa Aiyetoro reflects upon her legacy, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Adjoa Aiyetoro reflects upon her legacy, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Adjoa Aiyetoro comments on oral history
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Adjoa Aiyetoro describes what she would have changed in her life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Adjoa Aiyetoro talks about how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Adjoa Aiyetoro narrates her photographs