The republic and Provisional Government was founded at a conference of Militant Black Nationalists meeting in Detroit in 1968. The conference was convened by attorney Gaidi Obadele and Imari Abubakari Obadele, former acquaintances of Malcolm X who . Imari Obadele was elected to the position of “Provisional President”.
The RNA advocated cooperative economics and community self-sufficiency, political rights and press freedoms, prohibiting trades unions, mandatory military service and the legalization of polygamy.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) believed the Republic of New Africa to be a seditious group, and conducted raids on their meetings, leading to violent confrontations and the arrest and repeated imprisonment of RNA leaders. The RNA was a target of the COINTELPRO operation.
Following his 1980 release from prison, Imari Obadele attended Temple University and earned a PhD in political science. He has since taught at various universities and published books and articles upholding the aims of the RNA.
The RNA is today based in Washington, D.C., and has membership of almost 10,000.