Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (1960-1966)
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)was one of the major Civil Rights Movement organizations of the 1960s. It emerged from the first wave of student sit-ins and formed at a May 1960 meeting organized by Ella Baker at Shaw University. After its involvement in the Voter Education Project, SNCC grew into a large organization with many supporters in the North who helped raise funds to support its work in the South, allowing full-time organizers to have a small salary. Many unpaid grassroots organizers and activists also worked with SNCC on projects in the Deep South, often becoming targets of racial violence and police brutality. SNCC played a seminal role in the freedom rides, the 1963 March on Washington, Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Selma campaigns, the March Against Fear and other historic events. SNCC may be best known for its community organizing, including voter registration, freedom schools, and localized direct action all over the country, but especially in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi
Assassination of Patrice Lumumba (1961)
Patrice Émery Lumumba (alternatively styled Patrice Hemery Lumumba; 2 July 1925 – 17 January 1961) was a Congolese politician and independence leader who served as the first Prime Minister of the independent Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Republic of the Congo) from June until September 1960. He played a significant role in the transformation of the Congo from a colony of Belgium into an independent republic. Ideologically an African nationalist and Pan-Africanist, he led the Mouvement National Congolais (MNC) party from 1958 until his death.
Shortly after Congolese independence in 1960, a mutiny broke out in the army, marking the beginning of the Congo Crisis. Lumumba appealed to the United States and the United Nations for help to suppress the Belgian-supported Katangan secessionists. Both refused, so Lumumba turned to the Soviet Union for support. This led to growing differences with President Joseph Kasa-Vubu and chief-of-staff Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, as well as with the United States and Belgium.
Lumumba was subsequently imprisoned by state authorities under Mobutu and executed by a firing squad under the command of Katangan authorities. Following his death, he was widely seen as a martyr for the wider Pan-African movement.
1961 United Nations floor protest
The Negro Digest (1961)
Group on Advanced Leadership (1961)
Revolutionary Action Movement (1962-1969)
In 1961, students at Central State University, a historically black university in Ohio came together to form "Challenge," a small conglomerate group of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Largely made up of formerly expelled students and veteran activists, Challenge was created to further political awareness, particularly in relation to the black community. At the request of Donald Freeman, who was enrolled at Case Western Reserve University at the time, Challenge read Harold Cruse's essay "Revolutionary Nationalism and the Afro-American" and thereafter shifted its focus from educating their participants to creating a mass black working-class nationalist movement in the North. After this drastic change of agenda, Challenge soon evolved into the Reform Action Movement, as they believed use of the word revolutionary would stir fear in the university administration Led by Freeman, Wanda Marshall, and Maxwell Stanford, RAM became a study/action group that hoped to turn the Civil Rights Movement into a worldwide black revolution.
Umbra was the first post-civil rights Black literary group to make an impact as radical in the sense of establishing their own voice distinct from, and sometimes at odds with, the prevailing white literary establishment. The attempt to merge a Black-oriented activist thrust with a primarily artistic orientation produced a classic split in Umbra between those who wanted to be activists and those who thought of themselves as primarily writers, though to some extent all members shared both views. Black writers have always had to face the issue of whether their work was primarily political or aesthetic. Moreover, Umbra itself had evolved out of similar circumstances: in 1960 a Black nationalist literary organization, On Guard for Freedom, had been founded on the Lower East Side by Calvin Hicks. Its members included Nannie and Walter Bowe, Harold Cruse (who was then working on The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, 1967), Tom Dent, Rosa Guy, Joe Johnson, LeRoi Jones, and Sarah Wright, among others. On Guard was active in a famous protest at the United Nations of the American-sponsored Bay of Pigs Cuban invasion and was active in support of the Congolese liberation leader Patrice Lumumba. From On Guard, Dent, Johnson, and Walcott along with Hernton, Henderson, and Touré established Umbra.
Black Arts Movement (1965)
Watts riots (1965)
Assassination of Malcolm X (1965)
The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965)
Black Dialogue (1965)
US Organization (1965)
US Organization, or Organization Us, is a Black nationalist group in the United States founded in 1965. It was established as a community organization by Hakim Jamal together with Maulana Karenga. It was a rival to the Black Panther Party in California. One of the early slogans was, "Anywhere we are US is." "US" referred to "[us] black people" in opposition to their oppressors ("them").
After the Watts Riots and the assassination of Malcolm X, Maulana Karenga and Hakim Jamal started a discussion group called the "circle of seven". Hakim Jamal, cousin of Malcolm X, created a magazine entitled "US". It was a pun on the phrase "us and them" and the standard abbreviation of "United States" and/or "United Slaves", referring to "Us Black People" as a nation. This promoted the idea of black cultural unity as a distinct national identity.
Jamal and Karenga founded the US Organization. They published a magazine Message to the Grassroot in 1966, in which Karenga was listed as chairman and Jamal as founder of the new group.
Black Panther Party
Black Guerrilla Family
The Black Guerilla Family, or BGF (also known as the Black Family or the Black Vanguard) is an African-American prison and street gang founded in 1966 by George Jackson, George “Big Jake” Lewis, and W. L. Nolen while they were incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison in Marin County, California.
The Black Guerrilla Family was founded by George Jackson in San Quentin State Prison during the Black Power movement. The group later became a recognizable organized crime force in the United States.
On August 22, 1989, co-founder and leader of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, Huey P. Newton was fatally shot outside 1456 9th St in West Oakland by 24-year-old Black Guerilla Family member, Tyrone Robinson. Relations between Newton and factions within the Black Guerilla Family had been strained for nearly two decades. Former Black Panther Party members who became BGF members in jail had become disenchanted with Newton for his perceived abandonment of imprisoned Black Panther members and allegations of Newton's fratricide within the party. In his book, Shadow of the Panther, Hugh Pearson alleges that Newton was addicted to crack cocaine, and his extortion of local BGF drug dealers to obtain free drugs added to their animosity.
Robinson was convicted of the murder in August 1991 and sentenced to 32 years for the crime.
Journal of Black Poetry
Long hot summer of 1967
Detroit riot of 1967
Cambridge riot of 1967
Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
Memphis sanitation strike
1968 Olympics Black Power salute
Republic of New Afrika
The Republic of New Afrika (RNA), founded in 1968 as the Republic of New Africa (RNA), is a black nationalist organization and black separatist movement. The larger New Afrika movement in particular has three goals:
Creation of an independent Black-majority country situated in the Southeastern region, in the heart of an area of black-majority population.
Payment by the federal government of several billion dollars in reparations to African-American descendants of slaves for the damages inflicted on Africans and their descendants by chattel enslavement, Jim Crow laws, and modern-day forms of racism.
A referendum of all African Americans to determine their desires for citizenship; movement leaders say they were not offered a choice in this matter after emancipation in 1865 following the American Civil War.
The vision for this country was first promulgated by the Malcolm X Society on March 31, 1968, at a Black Government Conference held in Detroit, Michigan. The conference participants drafted a constitution and declaration of independence. Its proponents[who?] lay claim to five Southern states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina; and to the black-majority counties adjacent to this area in Arkansas, Texas,
The Black Government Conference was convened by the Malcolm X Society and the Group on Advanced Leadership (GOAL), two influential Detroit-based black organizations with broad followings. The attendees produced a Declaration of Independence (signed by 100 conferees out of approximately 500), a constitution, and the framework for a provisional government. Robert F. Williams, a controversial human rights advocate then living in exile in China, was chosen as the first president of the provisional government; attorney Milton Henry (a student of Malcolm X's teachings) was named first vice president; and Betty Shabazz, widow of Malcolm X, served as second vice president.
The Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika (PG-RNA) advocated/advocates a form of cooperative economics through the building of New Communities—named after the Ujamaa concept promoted by Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere. It proposed militant self-defense through the building of local people's militias and a standing army to be called the Black Legion; and the building of racially based organizations to champion the right of self-determination for people of black African descent.
The organization was involved in numerous controversial issues. For example, it attempted to assist Oceanhill-Brownsville area in Brooklyn to secede from the United States during the 1968 conflict over control of public schools. Additionally, it was involved with shootouts at New Bethel Baptist Church in 1969 (during the one-year anniversary of the founding) and another in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1971. (It had announced that the capital of the Republic would be in Hinds County, Mississippi, located on a member's farm.) In the confrontations, law-enforcement officials were killed and injured. Organization members were prosecuted for the crimes.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) listed the Republic of New Afrika as a seditious group due to its advocacy of secession. It conducted raids on its meetings, which led to violent confrontations. It repeatedly arrested and prosecuted certain RNA leaders noted above. The group was a target of the COINTELPRO operation by the FBI, as well as Red Squad activities of Michigan State Police and the Detroit Police Department, among other cities.
Death of Bobby Hutton
Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968
Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement
The Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM) was an organization of African-American workers formed in May 1968 in the Chrysler Corporation's Dodge Main assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan. The "Revolutionary Union Movement" form of organization spread to other Detroit plants: including FRUM (Ford Revolutionary Union Movement) at the Ford River Rouge Plant, and ELRUM (Eldon Avenue Revolutionary Union Movement) at the Chrysler Eldon Avenue plant. These organizations were brought together in the League of Revolutionary Black Workers which formed in June 1969.
In 1969 some members of Drum joined the Black Panthers in Detroit. Others believed the focus should be more tightly focused on the workers movement and reflecting their concerns on local concerns. Shortly after words there was another split when some of DRUM's leadership wanted to convert the group into a Marxist-Leninist organization.
Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Howard University student protest
King assassination riots Baltimore
Murder of Fred Hampton
About the same time that Hampton was successfully organizing young African-Americans for the NAACP, the Black Panther Party (BPP) started rising to national prominence. Hampton was quickly attracted to the Black Panthers' approach, which was based on a ten-point program that integrated black self-determination on the basis of Maoism. Hampton joined the Party and relocated to downtown Chicago, and in November 1968 he joined the Party's nascent Illinois chapter—founded by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) organizer Bob Brown in late 1967.
Over the next year, Hampton and his associates made a number of significant achievements in Chicago. Perhaps his most important accomplishment was his brokering of a nonaggression pact between Chicago's most powerful street gangs. Emphasizing that racial and ethnic conflict between gangs would only keep its members entrenched in poverty, Hampton strove to forge a class-conscious, multi-racial alliance between the BPP, the Young Patriots Organization, and the Young Lords under the leadership of Jose Cha Cha Jimenez.
Fred Hampton met the Young Lords in the Chicago Lincoln Park Neighborhood, the day after the Young Lords were in the news after they had occupied a police community workshop meeting, held on the second floor hall of the Chicago 18th District Police Station. Later, the Rainbow Coalition was joined nationwide by the Students for a Democratic Society ("SDS"), the Brown Berets, and the Red Guard Party. In May 1969, Hampton called a press conference to announce that this "rainbow coalition" had formed. It was a phrase coined by Hampton and made popular over the years by Reverend Jesse Jackson, who eventually appropriated the name in forming his own, unrelated, coalition, Rainbow/PUSH.
Hampton's organizing skills, substantial oratorical gifts, and personal charisma allowed him to rise quickly in the Black Panthers. Once he became leader of the Chicago chapter, he organized weekly rallies, worked closely with the BPP's local People's Clinic, taught political education classes every morning at 6am, and launched a project for community supervision of the police. Hampton was also instrumental in the BPP's Free Breakfast Program. When Brown left the Party with Stokely Carmichael in the FBI-fomented SNCC/Panther split, Hampton assumed chairmanship of the Illinois state BPP, automatically making him a national BPP deputy chairman. As the Panther leadership across the country began to be decimated by the impact of the FBI's COINTELPRO, Hampton's prominence in the national hierarchy increased rapidly and dramatically. Eventually, Hampton was in line to be appointed to the Party's Central Committee's Chief of Staff. He would have achieved this position had he not been killed by Chicago Police on the morning of December 4, 1969.
League of Revolutionary Black Workers
Institute of the Black World
Sullivan v. Little Hunting Park, Inc.
Gaston County v. United States
Executive Order 11478
Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education
1969 York race riot
Allen v. State Board of Election
Revised Philadelphia Plan
Wells v. Rockefeller
National Conference of Black Political Scientists
Soul City, North Carolina
Joint Center for Political Studies
Black Liberation Army
The Black Liberation Army (BLA) was an underground Black Power organization that operated in the United States from 1970 to 1981. Composed entirely of Black Panthers (BPP) who served as members of both groups, the organization's program was one of war against the United States Government, and its stated goal was to "take up arms for the liberation and self-determination of black people in the United States."The BLA carried out a series of bombings, killings of police officers and drug dealers, robberies (which participants termed "expropriations"), and prison breaks.
The Black Liberation Army gained strength as Black Panther Party membership declined. By 1970, police and FBI sabotage (see COINTELPRO), infiltration, sectarianism, the lengthy prison sentences, and death of key members (among them Fred Hampton) had significantly undermined the Black Panther Party. This convinced many former party members of the desirability of an underground existence, seeing that a new period of violent repression by the U.S federal and local government was at hand. BLA members operated under the belief that only through covert means, including but not limited to retribution, could the movement be continued until such a time when an above-ground existence was possible.
The conditions under which the Black Liberation Army formed are not entirely clear. It is commonly believed that the organization was founded by those who left the Black Panther Party after Eldridge Cleaver was expelled from the party's Central Committee. A fallout was inevitable between Cleaver and other Panther leaders after he publicly criticized the BPP, among other things accusing Panther social programs of being reformist rather than revolutionary. Others, including black revolutionary Geronimo Pratt (AKA Geronimo ji Jaga), assert that the BLA "as a movement concept pre-dated and was broader than the BPP," suggesting that it was a refuge for ex-Panthers rather than a new organization formed through schism.
Maxwell Stanford[who?] cites the Black Guards, a wing of the Revolutionary Action Movement, as direct BLA forerunners.
Some accounts of the Black Liberation Army argue that the BLA grew out of the BPP and its original founders were members of the Party. The organization is often presented as a result of the repression on the BPP and the split within the Panthers. It is said to have formed after the collaboration of several Black revolutionary organizations and consisted of the Black underground which came to be collectively known as the Black Liberation Army. Assata Shakur, in her autobiography, asserts:
“… the Black Liberation Army was not a centralized, organized group with a common leadership and chain of command. Instead there were various organizations and collectives working together and simultaneously independent of each other.”
Revolutionary People's Constitutional Convention
Marin County courthouse incident
The Marin County courthouse incident was an event which occurred on August 7, 1970, when 17-year-old Jonathan Peter Jackson attempted to negotiate the freedom of the Soledad Brothers (which included his older brother George) by kidnapping Superior Court judge Harold Haley from the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael, California. The resulting shootout left four men dead, including both Jackson and Judge Haley. Two others were wounded. The event received intense media coverage, as did the subsequent manhunt and trial of Angela Davis, an ousted assistant professor from UCLA with connections to George and Jonathan Jackson, and the Black Panthers. Davis owned the weapons used in the incident.
In 1970, Soledad Brothers founder George Jackson allegedly organized an armed assault on the Marin County courthouse to demand George Jackson's immediate release. The assault took place during a trial for James McClain, who had been named accused in the stabbing of a prison guard, with Judge Haley presiding.
The person in charge of the kidnapping was George Jackson's younger brother, Jonathan Peter Jackson, aged 17. Two days before the kidnapping, Davis had bought a shotgun from a pawn shop in San Francisco. After Davis paid for the shotgun, its barrel was sawed off so as to be concealable.
On the day before the kidnapping, Davis and Jonathan Jackson were alleged to have been in a rented yellow utility van at the Marin Courthouse. Jonathan went into the courtroom where James McClain (aged 37) was on trial. He was wearing a long buttoned-up raincoat, despite the heat and lack of rain. The van had troubles running, so Jonathan and Davis drove to a gas station down the street from the courthouse to get the van repaired.
On August 7, 1970, a heavily armed Jonathan Jackson returned to the courthouse in the yellow van. He entered the courtroom again wearing the long raincoat, and brought three guns registered to Angela Davis into the Hall of Justice.
Jackson sat among the spectators for a few minutes before opening his satchel, drawing a pistol and throwing it to Black Panther defendant McClain. Jackson then produced a M1 carbine from his raincoat as McClain held the pistol against Judge Haley's head. Jackson was reported as saying "Freeze. Just freeze." He then told court officials, attorneys and jurors to lie on the floor while another San Quentin inmate, Ruchell Cinque Magee, who was to have witnessed at McClain's trial, went to free three other testifying prisoners from their holding cell. A couple with a baby was also ordered into the judge's chambers.
After being freed by Magee, a fourth man, Black Panther William A. Christmas (aged 27), joined the other three kidnappers. Haley was forced at gunpoint to call the sheriff Louis P. Mountanos, in the hopes of convincing the police to refrain from intervening. Road flares, which were used to simulate sticks of dynamite, were held against Judge Haley's neck before being replaced with a sawed-off shotgun which was fastened under his chin with adhesive tape. The kidnappers, after some debate, then secured four other hostages whom they bound with piano wire: Deputy District Attorney Gary Thomas and jurors Maria Elena Graham, Doris Whitmer, and Joyce Rodoni.
The four kidnappers and five hostages then moved into the corridor of the courthouse, which at this point had become crowded with responding police who had been summoned by a bailiff. No action was taken against them at this point. Around this time, Jim Kean, a photographer for the San Rafael Independent Journal, arrived at the building after he had heard news of the incident from police radio in his car. He stepped off an elevator directly adjacent to the hostages and kidnappers, and was reportedly told by one of them, "You take all the pictures you want. We are the revolutionaries." Kean and his colleague Roger Bockrath took a series of photographs of the group, apparently after some brief discussion as to whether the two journalists should be added to the ranks of the hostages.
The group then entered the elevator, informing the police that "[they wanted] the Soledad brothers freed by 12:30 today." When the hostages were forced out onto the sidewalk in front of the Hall of Justice, Judge Haley asked where they were being taken. He was told they were being taken to the airport where they would get a plane. The kidnappers then forced the hostages into a rented Ford van which they began to drive towards an exit leading to the U.S. 101 freeway.
The police had set up a road block outside of the civic center in anticipation of the group leaving. As Jonathan Jackson drove the hostages and three convicts away from the courthouse, front passenger McClain shot at the police stationed in the parking lot. The police shot back. Judge Haley died as a result of potentially fatal wounds from both the shotgun which had been taped to his neck, as well as a pistol shot to the chest that was fired either by the kidnappers or by the police. Gary Thomas, one of the hostages, grabbed a gun from Jackson and began shooting at the kidnappers. A shooting melee ensued, in which three Black Panthers were killed. The sole Black Panther abductor to survive was Ruchell Magee. Prosecutor Thomas was paralyzed for life by a bullet through the spine.[how?] Maria Elena Graham, one of the jurors being held captive, suffered a bullet wound to her arm.
Killing of Henry Marrow
Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970
Jackson State killings
Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1970
Carter v. West Feliciana School Board
Institute for Southern Studies
Congressional Black Caucus
War on Drugs
Griggs v. Duke Power Co.
Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education
Attica Prison riot
National Black Political Convention
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
African Liberation Day
Gates v. Collier
1972 Olympics Black Power salute
National Black Feminist Organization
Drug Enforcement Administration
Georgia v. United States
District of Columbia Home Rule Act
Keyes v. School District No. 1, Denver
White v. Regester
Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972
The National Conference of Black Mayors
Gates v. Collier
Boston busing desegregation
Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974
Equal Credit Opportunity Act
Milliken v. Bradley
George Jackson Brigade
Home Mortgage Disclosure Act
Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1975
Post–Civil Rights Era