When He Threatened The Mainstream, They Burned It All Down

H. Rap Brown
Zain Murdock
September 24, 2021

By the time Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, arrived in Cambridge, Maryland in the Summer of 1967, he was ready to denounce white America's ills. But a white rampage would happen that night. By the end of his speech, gunfire erupted, hitting Brown above his eye. 

Meanwhile, whites set the Black neighborhood up in flames.

As punishment for Black people standing up for themselves, white firefighters and the governor let everything burn to the ground. To make matters worse, Al-Amin was arrested and charged with inciting a "riot.”

Still, only three days later, he shocked white America by making this unapologetic statement at a conference: "I say violence is necessary … It is as American as cherry pie. Americans taught the Black people to be violent. We will use that violence to rid ourselves of oppression if necessary.”

Where is he now?

In 2002, Brown was convicted of allegedly killing a Georgia police sheriff. Even after a judge ruled that Brown's constitutional rights were violated during the initial half-hearted trial 15 years later, he remains incarcerated today, serving a life sentence.

The system of white supremacy will always retaliate when we try to fight back. But, like Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, we need to dedicate our lives to untangling ourselves from a judicial system designed to deny Black people justice – by any means necessary.

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