H. Rap Brown (later known as Jamil al-Amin) in Cambridge, Maryland after the rebellion where he was ambushed by police in July of 1967.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos.
For those of you who don't recognize Jamil Al-Amin, this revolutionary
brother was known as H. Rap Brown, a Sixties revolutionary, former
Chairman of SNCC, Minister of Justice of the BPP, and author of "Die
In order to capture him the first time in the 60s, a new bill was introduced in Congress that became known as the Rap Brown anti-riot act (crossing state lines to incite a riot). Obviously, he was a fiery speaker who coined the phrase, "Violence is as American as cherry pie." More recently, the Imam was framed for the murder of a sheriff's deputy in Georgia.
Subject: Imam Jamil's upcoming Habeas Corpus hearing
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2007 15:08:19 -0800 (PST)
As-Salaamu alaikum wa Rahmatullah--
The habeas corpus hearing for Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin will be on February 27, 2007 in Reidsville Ga--inshALLAAH.
Anyone interested in attending this hearing is encouraged to contact either Amir Sahib Abd Salaam at 2489437540(cell) or e-mail at email@example.com or Yahya AbdusSabur at 2162150165(cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org in order for a coordinated effort to be made in this endeavor.
Also, special permission forms to visit with Imam Jamil at Georgia State Prison are available. Please contact the aforementioned brothers for the forms.....and hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of ALLAAH. masalaam
The Government Holds A Grudge: The Case Against Jamil Al-Amin
By S. Tomlinson
Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, has spent a lifetime fighting racism. Now, in the ultimate irony, it appears that racism's most powerful weapon will be turned against him.
The district attorney of Fulton County, Ga., announced in early May that he intends to seek the death penalty against Al-Amin for the March 16 shooting death of a Fulton County sheriff's deputy.
Approximately 90 percent of those whom U.S. prosecutors seek to execute are African American or Latino. A recent study showed that Black people in Philadelphia are nearly four times as likely to get the death penalty as other defendants under similar circumstances.
The case against Al-Amin is tangled with unanswered questions, police misconduct and outright lies. Yet the prosecutors feel confident enough to make this a capital case and pursue the death penalty against a respected community leader.
The only identified eyewitness is a second deputy, who was wounded in the incident. He initially could not identify the shooter, but he identified Al-Amin the next day.
This deputy said that he clearly wounded the assailant in the shootout. Investigators first on the scene that night found a trail of fresh blood. However, after Al-Amin's arrest, it became apparent that he had not been wounded. So now the authorities consider the blood trail irrelevant to the case.
This will to ignore evidence in cases against former Black Panthers is nothing new. Former Panther Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt recently settled his false imprisonment and civil-rights lawsuit against the FBI and the city of Los Angeles for $4.5 million. Activist, writer and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal is on Pennsylvania's death row for a crime he did not commit.
Is the case against Al-Amin just another chapter in the long history of the government's attempt to annihilate revolutionary Black leaders?
In the late 1960s, Al-Amin was known as H. Rap Brown, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. It was during these turbulent times that Al-Amin emerged as a true leader in the fight against racism. His fiery rhetoric stirred the people and troubled the authorities.
In July 1967, after a speech in Cambridge, Md., he was ambushed and shot by assailants he later came to learn were Black police officers. After the shooting, the crowd began to rebel. He was charged with inciting to riot.
By 1968, he had joined the Black Panther Party, where he served briefly as minister of justice. The FBI treated the Black Panthers as "the most dangerous and violence-prone of all extremist groups" and used every oppressive weapon against them.
He was eventually arrested and sent to prison. There he served five years.
During the first year of his incarceration, the freedom fighter converted to Islam and changed his name to Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. Released on parole in 1976, Al-Amin settled in Atlanta and began to build a Muslim community.
So, did the government still think Al-Amin was a threat, or was he forgotten? On the 25th anniversary of the Cambridge rebellion, Al-Amin was interviewed for a local Washington paper. He spoke of the ongoing struggle for justice for Black people in the United States. He defined various movements in that struggle. Then he spoke of Islam.
"In Islam, we're not talking about getting the poor to vote. We're not talking about empowering poor people with money. We're talking about overturning that whole thing, man."
Those words appeared in 1992. If the government had forgotten about Al-Amin, his words may have served as a stark reminder. Al-Amin was a revolutionary. That same year, the FBI and Atlanta police began investigating Al-Amin in connection with everything from domestic terrorism to gunrunning to murder.
In 1995, Al-Amin was charged in the shooting of a man in his neighborhood. After the victim revealed that he was coerced into naming Al-Amin as the shooter, all charges were dropped.
The FBI investigation is said to have ended in February 1996. Atlanta police say their investigation ended in August 1997. Despite the lengthy investigations by both agencies, no charges were ever filed against Al-Amin.
For 25 years, Al-Amin has been considered a pillar of his community. These are the sentiments of those who know Al-Amin, those with whom he cleaned up his formerly drug-infested neighborhood in Atlanta. Throughout the nation, even the world, Al-Amin is Imam Al-Amin, a respected Muslim prayer leader.
Years of government scrutiny failed to yield that information. The investigator saw Al-Amin's status in the community simply as a cover for criminal activities. To the government, Al-Amin is just another violent Black revolutionary with a target on his back. If, in seeking the death penalty against another Black revolutionary, the government looks to end a movement that they consider a threat, then they would do well to heed the words of Al-Amin.
"Many times, people mistakenly identify movement as struggle. Movement is only a phase of struggle ... the struggle goes on."