Who Is H Rap Brown?
Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, popularly known as H. Rap Brown, was the fifth chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the 1960s. He also served as the minister of justice when he had an alliance between SNCC and the Black Panther Party.
Brown was born on October 4, 1943, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In the early 1960s, he became to be known as H. Rap Brown. During the Civil Rights Movement, his activism led to his involvement with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
He became the chairman of the same in 1967. His older brother introduced him to SNCC when he first visited Cambridge in the summer of 1963. After witnessing a riot between whites and blacks in the city, he was moved by the local civil rights movement. He attended a civil rights meeting at the White House during the Selma crisis in 1965.
Later in life
Brown was possibly most famous for his public statement ‘violence is as American as cherry pie’. He also has an autobiography called Die Nigger Die. He appeared in the Ten Most Wanted list of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that led to his disappearance for 18 months. He was arrested and spent five years in Attica Prison after a case of robbery. During his time in prison, he converted to Islam and changed his name to Jamil Abdullah al-Amin.
He opened a grocery store shortly after his release in Atlanta, Georgia and became a Muslim spiritual leader. He is at present in prison for murdering two Fulton County Sheriff’s deputies in 2000.
List of H. Rap Brown Quotes
“I seek truth over a lie; I seek justice over injustice; I seek righteousness over the rewards of evildoers, and I love Allah more than I love the state.”
“To be successful in struggle requires remembrance of the Creator and the doing of good deeds. This is important because successful struggle demands that there be a kind of social consciousness. There has to be a social commitment, a social consciousness that joins men together.”
“They cannot divide us by saying that you’re middle class or you’re lower class.”
“The first responsibility of the Muslim is as teacher. That is his job, to teach. His first school, his first classroom is within the household. His first student is himself. He masters himself and then he begins to convey the knowledge that he has acquired to the family. The people who are closest to him.”
“My name is Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, the former H. Rap Brown. I am a devoted servant of Allah, and an unwavering devotee to His cause. For more than 30 years, I have been tormented and persecuted by my enemies for reasons of race and belief.”
“If America don’t come around, we’re gonna’ burn it down.”
“I say violence is necessary. It is as American as cherry pie.”
“Look at the newborn baby. It struggles to breathe after living in the womb. And yet, growth comes as a result of struggle. Even when we talk about jihad. We need to attach consciousness to struggle. This struggle has to be both individual and collective.”
“But black people fall for that same argument, and they go around talking about law breakers. We did not make the laws in this country. We are neither morally nor legally confined to those laws. Those laws that keep them up, keep us down.”
“Everybody in the black community must organize, and then we decide whether we will have alliance with other people or not, but not until we are organized.”
“There’s no such thing as second class citizenship. That’s like telling me you can be a little bit pregnant.”
“In terms of the revolution, I believe that the revolution will be a revolution of dispossessed people in this country: that’s the Mexican American, the Puerto Rican American, the American Indian, and black people.”
“Black people must address itself to the causes of poverty. That’s oppression in this country.”
“We happen to be the vanguard of that revolutionary struggle because we are the most dispossessed.”
“You see, the poverty program for the last five years have been buy-off programs.”
“There is no such thing as a black middle class.”
“Class structures are a luxury that we cannot afford.”
“See, justice is a joke in this country, and it stinks of its hypocricy.”
“The man does not beat your head because you got a Cadillac or because you got a Ford; he beats you because you’re black!”
“To be successful in struggle requires remembrance of the Creator and the doing of good deeds. This is important because successful struggle demands that there be a kind of social consciousness.”
“You’ve got to stop dividing yourselves. You got to organize.”
“Yes, politics IS war without bloodshed; and war is an extension of those politics.”
“We talking about revolution because that’s the era that you’re caught in.”
“The poverty program was not designed to eliminate poverty.”
“The only thing that’s going to free Huey is gun powder.”
“The only politics in this country that’s relevant to black people today is the politics of revolution… none other.”
“So black people all across this country are uniting. They must unite, and they must organize themselves.”
“See, it’s no in between: you’re either free or you’re a slave.”
“One of the lies that we tell ourselves is that we’re making progress; but Huey’s chair’s empty.”
“No such thing as a Dixiecrat.”
“And understand: class differences will not save you.”
“An old African leader says about leadership, he says that leadership should never be shared; it should always remain in the hands of the dispossessed people. We will lead the revolution.”
“There has to be a social commitment, a social consciousness that joins men together. On the basis of their coming together, they do not transgress against themselves and they do not transgress against others.”
“When you understand your obligations to God then you can understand your obligations to society.”
“Revolution comes when human beings set out to correct decadent institutions.”
“Attack those concepts such as ‘third world.’ Think about it. If we look at it in terms of numbers, then people of color are the majority in this world. We should be the ‘first world.’”