African American Heritage

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

Record Group 60: Department of Justice (DOJ)

Class 126 (Fugitive Felon Act) Litigation Case Files, 1935-1976  National Archives Identifier 2049895

Selected Records

Case File 126-35-23

Record Group 65: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Classification 157 (Civil Unrest) Case Files

Please use the Find function in your browser to search for 'H. Rap Brown'

GRF-0054: Gerald R. Ford Congressional Papers

Speeches, 1948-1973  National Archives Identifier 642080

Finding Aid:  Press Secretary and Speech File Sub-Group

Selected Records

Wagner College, Staten Island, NY, May 13, 1968 (Speech not delivered) ( NAID 4526122)Transcription available online.

HICK: John R. Hickman Audio Collection

Sound Recordings of Historical Radio Broadcasts, World War II Government Documentaries, and Popular Radio Shows, 1906-1993 National Archives Identifier 1487762

Selected Records

Speech at Long Island University by H. Rap Brown (NAID 2843442)

 

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