militant political activist and religious leader, was born Hubert Geroid Brown in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the youngest child and second son of Eddie C. Brown, a laborer for Esso Standard Oil, and Thelma Warren, a teacher. According to his own account, Brown was a rebel from the earliest days against the color biases of his community as well as the authoritarianism and Eurocentric curricula of the schools in Baton Rouge. He identified with youth street culture and its heroes, whose verbal and physical jousting he extolled in his 1970 memoir Die Nigger Die! His facility at signifying or “playing the dozens” earned Brown the “Rap” sobriquet that he was to carry throughout the first phase of his public career.Brown attended Southern University in Baton Rouge from 1961 to 1963 but dropped out to pursue his growing interest in the civil rights movement Following his brother Ed whose ...
W. S. Tkweme
Jennifer Jensen Wallach
civil rights activist and religious leader. Hubert Gerold “H. Rap” Brown was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1943. He attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, studying sociology from 1960 to 1964. He then relocated to Washington, D.C., where he became chairman of the Nonviolent Action Group (NAG), a civil rights organization. During his brief tenure with the NAG, Brown attended a high-profile meeting with President Lyndon B. Johnson. Much to the chagrin of more moderate black leaders, Brown refused to show deference to the president, instead rebuking him for the state of American race relations.
In 1966 Brown joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), becoming director of the Alabama Project. In 1967 at the age of twenty three he was elected chairman of the organization Brown led SNCC in a transition away from the nonviolent philosophy of the early days of the civil ...
Alonford James Robinson
Hubert Brown was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 1962 he dropped out of Southern University to join the Nonviolent Action Group (NAG) at Howard University. In 1965 he became chairman of NAG. Labeled an extremist by the media for his nationalist views, Brown was an outspoken advocate of Black Power in the United States. In May 1967, when Stokely Carmichael stepped down, Brown was elected national chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
That same year, Brown was charged by the states of Maryland and Ohio with inciting violence. He was harassed by the police and targeted by the Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). While under indictment, Brown was arrested for transporting weapons across state lines. He resigned as SNCC chairman in 1968 Later that year he was sentenced to five years in prison on federal weapons charges ...
attorney and political activist. Born in Dallas, Texas, Kathleen Neal Cleaver was the first child of Ernest Neal and Juette Johnson Neal. Her father was in the foreign service and the family lived in India, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Philippines. When Cleaver returned to the United States, she enrolled in a boarding school near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She attended Oberlin College in Ohio and later transferred to Barnard College in New York.
In 1966 Cleaver left college to work for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). At a SNCC conference at Fisk University in Tennessee, she met Eldridge Cleaver, the minister of information for the Black Panther Party (BPP). Attracted by the party's radical approach to social change, she left SNCC and joined the Black Panthers. She married Eldridge Cleaver on 27 December 1967.
As the national communications secretary for the BPP, Kathleen Cleaver ...
Ula Y. Taylor
Garvey, Amy Euphemia Jacques (31 December 1896–25 July 1973), journalist, Pan-Africanist, and the second wife of black nationalist Marcus Garvey, journalist, Pan-Africanist, and the second wife of black nationalist Marcus Garvey was born in Kingston Jamaica the daughter of George Samuel Jacques a property owner and Charlotte maiden name unknown Amy Jacques s family was rooted in the Jamaican middle class thus she was formally educated at Wolmer s Girls School an elite institution in Jamaica As a young woman she suffered from ailing health due to recurring bouts with malaria In need of a cooler climate she emigrated to the United States in 1917 and settled in New York City where she had relatives After hearing contradictory reports about the Universal Negro Improvement Association UNIA recently founded by Garvey she attended a meeting in Harlem She was intrigued by the organization and in 1918 became ...
was born on 15 April 1894 at Brandon Hill in rural St. Andrew, Jamaica. He was the son of Charles Grant, a cultivator, and his wife, Louisa (née Jackson). After attending St. Phillips Church School in St. Andrew and West Branch Elementary School in Kingston, Grant became a dockworker on the Kingston Wharves. With the advent of World War I he stowed away on a British troop ship and subsequently joined the 11th Battalion of the British West Indies Regiment. He became known as St. William Grant, and the “St.” is most likely a reference to his service as a sergeant in the military.
Unable to find any gainful employment on his return home, Grant emigrated to New York in 1920 where he joined Marcus Garvey s Universal Negro Improvement Association UNIA Grant s military experience saw him rapidly promoted from street leader to commander and president of the ...
The son of former slaves, Harry Haywood moved with his family from Nebraska to Minneapolis, which he left to fight in the 370th Infantry in France during World War I. Settling in Chicago, Illinois in the early 1920s, Haywood supported himself as a bootblack, busboy, and bellboy. He was recruited into the African Blood Brotherhood, a secret Black Nationalist organization, as well as into the Young Workers League, both associated with the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA).
Haywood was a leading proponent of Black Nationalism, self-determination, and the idea that American blacks are a colonized people who should organize themselves into a nation. From 1926 to 1930, Haywood studied in the Soviet Union, where he met several anticolonial revolutionaries, including Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh. On his return to the U.S. in 1931 he was chosen to head the Communist Party s Negro Department ...
major organizer and theoretician of the Communist International. Though Harry Haywood's parents, Harriet and Haywood Hall, were born into slavery, they had migrated to South Omaha, Nebraska, by the time he was born. When Harry was fifteen, his father, a meatpacker, was attacked by a white mob and the family was forced to leave Nebraska; they moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and eventually settled in Chicago, Illinois.
In 1917 Haywood entered the U.S. Army, and as a member of the Illinois 370th Infantry he set sail for France in April 1918. The year Haywood returned home to Chicago from the war, 1919, the city was engulfed in a bloody race riot. Such experiences radicalized Haywood, and after a brief stint with the African Blood Brotherhood he joined the Young Communist League in 1923.
He joined the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) in 1925 and moved ...
Born in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Roy Innis moved to New York City with his mother in 1946. He served in the Army for two years during the Korean War, before returning to New York's City College as a chemistry major. In 1963 he began a twenty-five-year involvement with the Harlem Chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), an interracial, nonviolent civil rights organization. He was first elected chairman, and has served as national director since 1968.
Innis was also the coeditor and founder of the Manhattan Tribune. He gained national publicity in 1973 when he participated in a televised debate with Nobel Physicist William Shockley on the topic of black genetic inferiority. Through his work, Innis promoted Black Power, Black Nationalism and separatism, and encouraged self-defense over non-violence.
In 1993 Innis ran as a mayoral candidate in the New York ...
activist at the forefront of the civil rights movement since the 1960s. Roy Emile Alfredo Innis was born in Saint Croix, Virgin Islands. He moved to New York City in 1946. He attended public schools and at age sixteen joined the U.S. Army, serving from 1950 to 1952. Majoring in chemistry, Innis attended the City College of New York from 1952 to 1956. Innis worked as a research chemist for ten years in New York. In 1963 he joined the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in Harlem. Founded in 1942, CORE was an interracial and primarily pacifist organization. Following upon the Journey of Reconciliation (a two-week-long bus trip through the Upper South in 1947), CORE led the 1961 Freedom Rides through the Deep South the organization s crowning achievement Designed to monitor the Supreme Court s ruling against segregation on interstate buses the Freedom ...
Political activist, journalist, black nationalist, community leader, and feminist. Born in 1915 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Jones moved to New York with her parents and three sisters at the age of 8. Her formal education was ended prematurely by tuberculosis, which damaged her lungs and permanently affected her health. She became actively involved with the Young Communist League of the American Communist Party, and was a vociferous advocate of human and civil rights. She was the editor of Negro Affairs for the Party's paper the Daily Worker, and in 1948 was elected to the Party's National Committee.
After being arrested four times for her involvement in campaigns for a socialist revolution, Jones was deported from the United States and given asylum in England. In exile she worked closely with London's African‐Caribbean community and founded and edited the West Indian Gazette which was vital to her fight for ...
Alonford James Robinson
Rayford Logan was born in Washington, D.C. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College in 1917, Logan enlisted in the United States Army. He was demobilized from the all-African American Ninety-third Division as a lieutenant and remained in France for five years as an expatriate and an activist for Pan-Africanism. He returned to America in 1924 to agitate for civil rights and to pursue an academic career. His scholarship was dedicated to promoting the equality of black people around the world. As a civil rights activist, he helped coordinate the 1963March on Washington.
Logan received a master's degree in 1932 and a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1936. While pursuing these degrees, he taught at Virginia Union University from 1925 to 1930 and at Atlanta University from 1933 to 1938. He assisted in W. E. B. Du Bois's Encyclopedia of the Negro ...
historian, teacher, and author. Rayford Whittingham Logan was a marginal civil rights figure yet a key voice in post–World War I race relations. Born in Washington, D.C., and educated in the district's segregated school system, Logan graduated from Dunbar High School, where Carter G. Woodson—later to play a key part in Logan's life—was an instructor. After continuing his education at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1917, Logan returned home and joined the District of Columbia National Guard, seeing combat in Europe as an infantry second lieutenant.
The U.S. Army in 1917 was segregated and like so many World Wars I and II black veterans Logan was deeply affected by his military experience After the war he was discharged but chose to remain in France an expatriate bitter against white Americans At home racial violence was widespread from Chicago ...
Adopted name of Michael de Freitas (1933–1975), black revolutionary and civil rights activist in London. Michael X was born in Trinidad to a Portuguese father and Barbadian mother. He immigrated to London in 1957 and lived in the Notting Hill area. Before converting to Islam, Michael X, who was also known by the name of Michael Abdul Malik, was a pimp and a hustler, similar to his idol Malcolm X. He founded the Racial Adjustment Action Society and in 1967 became the first person to be imprisoned under England's Race Relations Act. Michael X's impulsive nature resulted in several convictions, among them an eighteen‐month jail sentence for advocating the shooting of black women who were seen in the company of white men. He argued for the congregation of Blacks in social communes. In 1969 he was given money to start a commune in Islington but ...
Barbara Kraley Youel
Michaux, Lewis H. (04 August 1885–25 August 1976), bookseller and black nationalist, was born in Newport News, Virginia, the son of Henry Michaux and Blanche Pollard. Some uncertainty about his birthdate exists because his death certificate from the New York Vital Records Department lists it as 23 August 1884. Before coming to New York, Michaux worked variously as a pea-picker, window-washer, and deacon in the Philadelphia church of his brother, Solomon Lightfoot Michaux. According to Edith Glover, his secretary while a deacon, Michaux started selling books in Philadelphia with an inventory of five. When he founded his bookstore in 1932 in Harlem, he still had only a few books with him, including Up from Slavery, plus a bust of Booker T. Washington. Michaux initially sold books from a wagon, then moved to a store on seventh Avenue (later renamed Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard).
political activist. Born in Morgan City, Louisiana, Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt was an exceptional student who, in 1965, decided to delay college and enter the army. Pratt was sent to Vietnam, where he completed two tours of duty, distinguished himself in combat, and earned several medals, including the Purple Heart. Honorably discharged in 1968, Pratt enrolled at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he met Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter, the leader of the Southern California chapter of the Black Panther Party. Pratt joined the Panthers and began participating in Panther activities. After Carter's murder in January 1969, Pratt was named deputy minister of defense and head of the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panther Party.
Pratt attracted notice from the Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI and its counterintelligence program COINTELPRO which was an undercover strategy designed to weaken and ultimately neutralize organizations and individuals that ...
Bobby Seale, the son of George and Thelma Seale, was born in Dallas, Texas and moved to California with his family when he was ten years old. He entered the U.S. Air Force at eighteen and served as an aircraft-sheet mechanic. Three years later, he was dishonorably discharged for insubordination and absence without leave. In 1961 he enrolled at Merritt College in Oakland, California.
While at Merritt, Seale became a member of the Afro-American Association. Through this militant organization, Seale met and befriended fellow student Huey Newton. Together they formed the Soul Students Advisory Committee at the college. In 1966 the two created the Black Panther Party, whose political platform called for equality of opportunity for African Americans and an end to police brutality against black people.
Seale was arrested in 1968 as one of the Chicago Eight prosecuted for activities during their participation in demonstrations ...
political activist and cofounder of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Robert “Bobby” George Seale was born in Dallas, Texas, to George, a carpenter by profession, and Thelma Seale. Seale had a peripatetic childhood, moving to Port Arthur, Texas, and then San Antonio, Texas, before settling in Oakland, California, at the age of ten. In this move from the South to the West Coast, the Seales joined the ranks of 1.5 million African Americans streaming out of the South in search for work and better living conditions during the World War II period.
In California Seale enlisted in the U S Air Force at the age of eighteen His earlier attempts to join both the air force and the U S Army had proved unsuccessful because of concern over a foot he injured in a car accident As part of his service he trained as an aircraft sheet metal mechanic ...
student activist and revolutionary black nationalist. The 1970s were trying years for African American radicals and revolutionaries in the United States. The FBI's Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) succeeded in infiltrating, disrupting, and collecting information on moderate, liberal, and radical black organizations. The bureau's covert and overt activities along with internecine confrontation within the Black Panther Party (BPP) over policy proved disastrous for black militants. Disgruntled BPP members loyal to Eldridge Cleaver, a key leader of the party, went underground in the early 1970s to form the Black Liberation Army (BLA), whose goal was armed struggle for the liberation and self-determination of African Americans. It was in this volatile environment that Shakur, a student activist, first became a BPP member and then a member of the BLA.
Shakur was born JoAnne Deborah Byron in the Jamaica, Queens, section of New York City. She married Louis Chesimard in 1967 ...
Born JoAnne Deborah Byron in the New York City borough of Queens, Assata Shakur spent her early years alternating between living with her mother in New York and with her grandparents in Wilmington, North Carolina. As an adolescent, she ran away from home and lived among strangers until she was taken in by her aunt, Evelyn Williams, a lawyer who later represented Shakur in court. With her aunt's help, Shakur earned her general equivalency diploma (GED) and attended college, first at Manhattan Community College and then at the City College of New York.
In college Shakur became active in student politics, participating in protests and Sit-Ins. She was married briefly, becoming JoAnne Chesimard, then changed her name to reflect her African heritage: Assata (meaning “she who struggles”) Olugbala (“love for the people”) Shakur (“the thankful”). During a stay in Oakland, California, around 1970 she met ...