Author: Robert Franklin Williams
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
Release Date: 1962
First published in 1962, Negroes with Guns is the story of a southern black community's struggle to arm itself in self-defense against the Ku Klux Klan and other racist groups. Frustrated and angered by violence condoned or abetted by the local authorities against blacks, the small community of Monroe, North Carolina, brought the issue of armed self-defense to the forefront of the civil rights movement. The single most important intellectual influence on Huey P. Newton, the founder of the Black Panther Party, Negroes with Guns is a classic story of a man who risked his life for democracy and freedom.
Author: Nicholas Johnson
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Release Date: 2014-01-14
Genre: Social Science
Chronicling the underappreciated black tradition of bearing arms for self-defense, this book presents an array of examples reaching back to the pre—Civil War era that demonstrate a willingness of African American men and women to use firearms when necessary to defend their families and communities. From Frederick Douglass’s advice to keep “a good revolver” handy as defense against slave catchers to the armed self-protection of Monroe, North Carolina, blacks against the KKK chronicled in Robert Williams’s Negroes with Guns, it is clear that owning firearms was commonplace in the black community. Nicholas Johnson points out that this story has been submerged because it is hard to reconcile with the dominant narrative of nonviolence during the civil rights era. His book, however, resolves that tension by showing how the black tradition of arms maintained and demanded a critical distinction between private self-defense and political violence. Johnson also addresses the unavoidable issue of young black men with guns and the toll that gun violence takes on many in the inner city. He shows how complicated this issue is by highlighting the surprising diversity of views on gun ownership in the black community. In fact, recent Supreme Court affirmations of the right to bear arms resulted from cases led by black plaintiffs. Surprising and informative, this well-researched book strips away many stock assumptions of conventional wisdom on the issue of guns and the black freedom struggle. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Charles E. Cobb
Publisher: Basic Books
Release Date: 2014-06-03
Visiting Martin Luther King, Jr. at the peak of the civil rights movement, the journalist William Worthy almost sat on a loaded pistol. “Just for self-defense,” King assured him. One of King's advisors remembered the reverend's home as “an arsenal.” Like King, many nonviolent activists embraced their constitutional right to self-protection—yet this crucial dimension of the civil rights struggle has been long ignored. In This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed, civil rights scholar Charles E. Cobb, Jr. reveals how nonviolent activists and their allies kept the civil rights movement alive by bearing—and, when necessary, using—firearms. Whether patrolling their neighborhoods, garrisoning their homes, or firing back at attackers, these men and women were crucial to the movement's success, as were the weapons they carried. Drawing on his firsthand experiences in the Southern Freedom Movement and interviews with fellow participants, Cobb offers a controversial examination of the vital role guns have played in securing American liberties.
Author: Timothy B. Tyson
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Release Date: 2009-11-15
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
This book tells the remarkable story of Robert F. Williams--one of the most influential black activists of the generation that toppled Jim Crow and forever altered the arc of American history. In the late 1950s, as president of the Monroe, North Carolina, branch of the NAACP, Williams and his followers used machine guns, dynamite, and Molotov cocktails to confront Klan terrorists. Advocating "armed self-reliance" by blacks, Williams challenged not only white supremacists but also Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights establishment. Forced to flee during the 1960s to Cuba--where he broadcast "Radio Free Dixie," a program of black politics and music that could be heard as far away as Los Angeles and New York City--and then China, Williams remained a controversial figure for the rest of his life. Historians have customarily portrayed the civil rights movement as a nonviolent call on America's conscience--and the subsequent rise of Black Power as a violent repudiation of the civil rights dream. But Radio Free Dixie reveals that both movements grew out of the same soil, confronted the same predicaments, and reflected the same quest for African American freedom. As Robert Williams's story demonstrates, independent black political action, black cultural pride, and armed self-reliance operated in the South in tension and in tandem with legal efforts and nonviolent protest.
Author: Akinyele Omowale Umoja
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2013-04-22
Winner of the 2014 Anna Julia Cooper-CLR James Book Award presented by the National Council of Black Studies Winner of the 2014 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature In We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement, Akinyele Omowale Umoja argues that armed resistance was critical to the Southern freedom struggle and the dismantling of segregation and Black disenfranchisement. Intimidation and fear were central to the system of oppression in most of the Deep South. To overcome the system of segregation, Black people had to overcome fear to present a significant challenge to White domination. As the civil rights movement developed, armed self-defense and resistance became a significant means by which the descendants of enslaved Africans overturned fear and intimidation and developed different political and social relationships between Black and White Mississippians. This riveting historical narrative reconstructs the armed resistance of Black activists, their challenge of racist terrorism, and their fight for human rights. Instructor's Guide
Newtown. Columbine. Virginia Tech. Tucson. Aurora. Gun violence on a massive scale has become a plague in our society, yet politicians seem more afraid of having a serious conversation about guns than they are of the next horrific shooting. Any attempt to change the status quo, whether to strengthen gun regulations or weaken them, is sure to degenerate into a hysteria that changes nothing. Our attitudes toward guns are utterly polarized, leaving basic questions unasked: How can we reconcile the individual right to own and use firearms with the right to be safe from gun violence? Is keeping guns out of the hands of as many law-abiding Americans as possible really the best way to keep them out of the hands of criminals? And do 30,000 of us really have to die by gunfire every year as the price of a freedom protected by the Constitution? In Living with Guns, Craig R. Whitney, former foreign correspondent and editor at the New York Times, seeks out answers. He re-examines why the right to bear arms was enshrined in the Bill of Rights, and how it came to be misunderstood. He looks to colonial times, surveying the degree to which guns were a part of everyday life. Finally, blending history and reportage, Whitney explores how twentieth-century turmoil and culture war led to today's climate of activism, partisanship, and stalemate, in a nation that contains an estimated 300 million guns––and probably at least 60 million gun owners. In the end, Whitney proposes a new way forward through our gun rights stalemate, showing how we can live with guns––and why, with so many of them around, we have no other choice.
"Nikky Finney has been a fine poet much too long to say that this latest treasure is her promise coming into being. She exploded with so much talent with On Wings Made of Gauze and beautifully matured with Rice, yet Head Off & Split takes the promise of youth with the control of adulthood to bring her greatest exploration. Honest, searing, searching. We all, especially now, need this book of poems; we all, especially now, need this poet."---Nikki Giovanni, author of Bicycles "Beginning with the sweepingly inclusive and powerful `Red Velvet,' a Middle Passage poem for our times, Nikky Finney takes the reader to a wonderfully alive world where the musical possibilities of language overflow with surprise and innovation. Finney has an ear to go along with the wildness of her imagination, which sweeps through history like a pair of wings. Her carefully modulated free verse is always purposeful in its desire to move the reader in a way that allows us intimate access to necessary observations about ourselves. These poems, in other words, have the power to save us."---Bruce Weigl, author of What Saves Us "In Nikky Finney's Head Off & Split the beauty of language soars and saves us even as we skirt the raw edge of terror. And something rare and precious is restored, a light, a circling movement of the spirit. This is poetry to give thanks for."---Meena Alexander, author of Quickly Changing River "No one opens a vein on the page with a sharper and more nuanced gathered set of senses than Nikky Finney. In Head Off & Split, she takes aim at the heart of American wrong-headedness with a sense of purpose and integrity not only respectful of, but fueled by, her own brand of multiple kinships and remembrance, a grand struggle-swagger of powerful literary inheritance."---Thomas Sayers Ellis, author of Skin, Inc. "With Head Off & Split, Nikky Finney establishes herself as one of the most eloquent, urgent, fearless and necessary poets writing in America today. What makes this book as important as anything published in the last decade is the irresistible music, the formal dexterity and the imaginative leaps she makes with metaphor and language in these simply stunning poems. This is a very, very important achievement."---Kwame Dawes, author of Hope's Hospice
Author: David B Kopel
Publisher: Encounter Books
Release Date: 2013-04-16
Who is sovereign in the United States? Is it the people themselves, or is it an elite determined to rule citizens who are seen as incapable of making choices about their own lives? This is the central question in the American gun-control debate. In this Broadside, David Kopel explains why the right to keep and bear arms has always been central to the American identity – and why Americans have always resisted gun control. The American Revolution was sparked by British attempts to confiscate guns. After the Civil War, the U.S. changed the Constitution to defeat the nation’s first gun-control organization, the Ku Klux Klan. When Hitler and Stalin demonstrated how gun registration paves the way for gun confiscation, which paves the way for genocide, Americans resolved to make sure it never happens here. Gun control is not an issue of left vs. right or urban vs. rural. The right to bear arms is crucial to prevent large-scale tyranny by criminal governments and small-scale tyranny by ordinary criminals – and to protect our Constitution.
Author: Neal Shirley
Publisher: AK Press
Release Date: 2015-05-01
In 1891, when coal companies in eastern Tennessee brought in cheap convict labor to take over their jobs, workers responded by storming the stockades, freeing the prisoners, and loading them onto freight trains. Over the next year, tactics escalated to include burning company property and looting company stores. This was one of the largest insurrections in US working-class history. It happened at the same time as the widely publicized northern labor war in Homestead, Pennsylvania. And it was largely ignored, then and now. Dixie Be Damned engages seven similarly "hidden" insurrectionary episodes in Southern history to demonstrate the region's long arc of revolt. Countering images of the South as pacified and conservative, this adventurous retelling presents history in the rough. Not the image of the South many expect, this is the South of maroon rebellion, wildcat strikes, and Robert F. Williams's book Negroes with Guns, a South where the dispossessed refuse to quietly suffer their fate. This is people's history at its best: slave revolts, multiracial banditry, labor battles, prison uprisings, urban riots, and more.
Author: Amy Sonnie
Publisher: Melville House
Release Date: 2011-09-27
THE STORY OF SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND LITTLE-KNOWN ACTIVISTS OF THE 1960s, IN A DEEPLY SOURCED NARRATIVE HISTORY The historians of the late 1960s have emphasized the work of a group of white college activists who courageously took to the streets to protest the war in Vietnam and continuing racial inequality. Poor and working-class whites have tended to be painted as spectators, reactionaries, and, even, racists. Most Americans, the story goes, just watched the political movements of the sixties go by. James Tracy and Amy Sonnie, who have been interviewing activists from the era for nearly ten years, reject this old narrative. They show that poor and working-class radicals, inspired by the Civil Rights movement, the Black Panthers, and progressive populism, started to organize significant political struggles against racism and inequality during the 1960s and 1970s. Among these groups: + JOIN Community Union brought together southern migrants, student radicals, and welfare recipients in Chicago to fight for housing, health, and welfare . . . + The Young Patriots Organization and Rising Up Angry organized self-identified hillbillies, Chicago greasers, Vietnam vets, and young feminists into a legendary “Rainbow Coalition” with Black and Puerto Rican activists . . . + In Philadelphia, the October 4th Organization united residents of industrial Kensington against big business, war, and a repressive police force . . . + In the Bronx, White Lightning occupied hospitals and built coalitions with doctors to fight for the rights of drug addicts and the poor. Exploring an untold history of the New Left, the book shows how these groups helped to redefine community organizing—and transforms the way we think about a pivotal moment in U.S. history. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Kay Wright Lewis
Release Date: 2017-08-15
Genre: Social Science
From the inception of slavery as a pillar of the Atlantic World economy, both Europeans and Africans feared their mass extermination by the other in a race war. In the United States, says Kay Wright Lewis, this ingrained dread nourished a preoccupation with slave rebellions and would later help fuel the Civil War, thwart the aims of Reconstruction, justify Jim Crow, and even inform civil rights movement strategy. And yet, says Lewis, the historiography of slavery is all but silent on extermination as a category of analysis. Moreover, little of the existing sparse scholarship interrogates the black perspective on extermination. A Curse upon the Nation addresses both of these issues. To explain how this belief in an impending race war shaped eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American politics, culture, and commerce, Lewis examines a wide range of texts including letters, newspapers, pamphlets, travel accounts, slave narratives, government documents, and abolitionist tracts. She foregrounds her readings in the long record of exterminatory warfare in Europe and its colonies, placing lopsided reprisals against African slave revolts or even rumors of revolts in a continuum with past brutal incursions against the Irish, Scots, Native Americans, and other groups out of favor with the empire. Lewis also shows how extermination became entwined with ideas about race and freedom from early in the process of enslavement, making survival an important form of resistance for African peoples in America. For African Americans, enslaved and free, the potential for one-sided violence was always present and deeply traumatic. This groundbreaking study reevaluates how extermination shaped black understanding of the Atlantic slave trade and the political, social, and economic worlds in which it thrived. "
Author: Elaine Tyler May
Publisher: Basic Books
Release Date: 2008-09-23
A revised edition of the classic, myth-shattering exploration of American family life during the Cold War. When Homeward Bound first appeared in 1988, it forever changed how we understand Cold War America. Elaine Tyler May demonstrated that the Atomic Age and the Cold War shaped American life not just in national politics, but at every level of society, from the boardroom to the bedroom. Her notion of "domestic containment" is now the standard interpretation of the era, and Homeward Bound has become a classic. This new edition includes an updated introduction and a new epilogue examining the legacy of Cold War obsessions with personal and family security in the present day.