H. Rap Brown (October 4, 1943)
H. Rap Brown was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 1960, at the age of 17, he moved to Washington D.C. and joined the Non-violent Action Group (NAG). In 1964, Brown became chairman of NAG, which eventually lead him to join the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In 1966, Brown was appointed SNCC’s Director of Voter Registration for the state of Alabama. He succeeded Stokely Carmichael as national chairman a year later.
As SNCC chairman, Brown extended Carmichael’s agenda to develop militancy within SNCC by alienating white members and aligning the organization with the Black Panther Party. As leader, Brown found little succes in garnering support for his agenda because of the criminal charges that he faced at that time. During his firearms trial in 1970, Brown disappeared and was placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. He reemerged in 1971 after being arrested for armed robbery in Manhattan and served five years in Attica State Prison. In prison, Brown converted to Islam and changed his name to Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin.
In 2000, Al-Amin was charged with murdering a black police officer and injuring another outside of the convenient store he owned. In 2002, Al-Amin was convicted of the murder and other charges and is currently in prison serving a life sentence.
The Black Power records at the National Archives pertaining to H. Rap Brown consist of files from the FBI field offices in various parts of the United States and from the Department of Justice regarding the his time spent as a fugitive.
Records Relating to H. Rap Brown
|RG 60 - Department of Justice (DOJ)||RG 65 - Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)|
|GRF-0054 - Gerald R. Ford Congressional Papers||HICK - John R. Hickman Audio Collection|
Class 126 (Fugitive Felon Act) Litigation Case Files, 1935-1976 National Archives Identifier 2049895
Case File 126-35-23
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Speeches, 1948-1973 National Archives Identifier 642080
Finding Aid: Press Secretary and Speech File Sub-Group
Wagner College, Staten Island, NY, May 13, 1968 (Speech not delivered) ( NAID 4526122)Transcription available online.
Sound Recordings of Historical Radio Broadcasts, World War II Government Documentaries, and Popular Radio Shows, 1906-1993 National Archives Identifier 1487762
Speech at Long Island University by H. Rap Brown (NAID 2843442)