Rethinking H. Rap Brown and Black Power
H. Rap Brown (Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin) was one of the youngest national leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Black Panther Party. Although Rap Brown was among the most brilliant voices of the Black Power Generation, most history books criminalize him as a violent troublemaker. Come to hear how Uncle Sam framed Rap Brown for the 1967 Cambridge Riot in Maryland and how the Kerner Commission buried the evidence of his innocence. Next year will mark the 50th anniversary (1969-2019) of Rap Brown’s classic memoir, Die! Nigger! Die! This conversation is the first step toward next year’s national conference in Atlanta, Georgia to not only rethink Jamil Al-Amin’s role in Black Liberation but also to free Jamil Al-Amin and all Black Panther political prisoners. Arun Kundnani, who is writing a biography of Al-Amin, will join Akinyele Umoja and Robyn Spencer, two leading scholars of Black Power, for a conversation on Al-Amin's life and political legacy.
Arun KundnaniNew York University
Arun Kundnani is the author of The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror (Verso Books, 2014) and The End of Tolerance: Racism in 21st Century Britain (Pluto Books, 2007). He teaches at New York University and Queens College and is a former editor of the journal Race & Class.
Robyn SpencerLehman College CUNY
Dr. Spencer is a professor of African American History at Lehman College. She also taught African and African American Studies and History at Penn State University from 2001-2007. Before that, she was a Visiting Predoctoral Fellow at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia. Her areas of interest include black social protest after World War II, urban and working-class radicalism, and gender. She is the author of Mad at History, and is currently completing a book about the Black Panther Party.
Akinyele UmojaGeorgia State University
Akinyele Umoja is a Professor and the Chair of the Department of African-American Studies at Georgia State University. He is also the author of We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance and the Mississippi Freedom Movement (New York University, 2013). Along with Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and others, Umoja is also a founding member of the New Afrikan Peoples Organization and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.
Professor Umoja’s publications include “From Malcolm X to Omowale Malik Shabazz: The Transformation and Its Impact on the Black Liberation Struggle” in James Conyers and Andrew Smallwood, Malcolm X: Historical Reader and “Aid to Children of Imprisoned Mothers: An Ethnographic Study,” “Repression Breeds Resistance: The Black Liberation Army and the Legacy of the Black Panther Party,” in Lance J. Jeffries, Black Power in the Belly of the Beast.