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African American Studies: Radicalism

Radicalism

  • The Black Liberation Army and the Program of Armed Struggle (BLA) was an underground, black nationalist-Marxist militant organization that operated from 1970 to 1981. Composed largely of former Black Panthers (BPP), the organization’s program was one of "armed struggle" and its stated goal was to "take up arms for the liberation and self-determination of black people in the United States." The BLA carried out a series of bombings, robberies (what participants termed "expropriations"), and prison breaks.

Date range: 1970-1983

  • Black Nationalism and the Revolutionary Action Movement: The Papers of Muhammad Ahmad (Max Stanford)  This collection of RAM records reproduces the writings and statements of the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) and its leaders. It also covers organizations that evolved from or were influenced by RAM and persons that had close ties to RAM. The most prominent organization that evolved from RAM was the African People’s Party. Organizations influenced by RAM include the Black Panther Party, League of Revolutionary Black Workers, Youth Organization for Black Unity, African Liberation Support Committee, and the Republic of New Africa. Individuals associated with RAM and documented in this collection include Robert F. Williams, Malcolm X, Amiri Baraka, General Gordon Baker Jr., Yuri Kochiyama, Donald Freeman, James and Grace Lee Boggs, Herman Ferguson, Askia Muhammad Toure (Rolland Snellings), and Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael).

Date range:  1962-1999

Date rand: 1970-1985

  • The Greensboro Massacre, 1979: Shootout Between the American Nazis and the Communist Workers Party  On November 3, 1979 a rally and march of black industrial workers and Communists was planned in Greensboro, North Carolina against the Ku Klux Klan. The "Death to the Klan March" was to begin in a predominantly black housing project called Morningside Homes. Communist organizers publicly challenged the Klan to present themselves and "face the wrath of the people". During the rally, a caravan of cars containing Klansmen and members of the American Nazi Party drove by the housing projects where the Communists and other anti-Klan activists were congregating. What then occurred is in dispute, from rock-throwing and taunts on both sides to the sound of gunfire and deaths of five protest marchers. This collection of FBI, local and state police, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, shed new light on the motivations of the Communist organizers, the shootings, subsequent investigations, and efforts to heal the Greensboro community.

Date range: 1979-1981

  • The Papers of Amiri Baraka, Poet Laureate of the Black Power Movement  This collection of Amiri Baraka materials was made available by Dr. Komozi Woodard. Dr. Woodard collected these documents during his career as an activist in Newark, New Jersey.The collection consists of rare works of poetry, organizational records, print publications, over one hundred articles, poems, plays, and speeches by Baraka, a small amount of personal correspondence, and oral histories. The collection has been arranged into eighteen series. These series are: (1) Black Arts Movement; (2) Black Nationalism; (3) Correspondence; (4) Newark (New Jersey); (5) Congress of African People; (6) National Black Conferences and National Black Assembly; (7) Black Women’s United Front; (8) Student Organization for Black Unity; (9) African Liberation Support Committee; (10) Revolutionary Communist League; (11) African Socialism; (12) Black Marxists; (13) National Black United Front; (14) Miscellaneous Materials, 1978-1988; (15) Serial Publications; (16) Oral Histories; (17) Woodard’s Office Files.

Date range: 1913-1998

  • The Republic of New Africa  The FBI believed the Republic of New Afrika to be a seditious group and conducted raids on its meetings, which led to violent confrontations, and the arrest and repeated imprisonment of RNA leaders. The group was a target of the COINTELPRO operation by the federal authorities but was also subject to diverse Red Squad activities of Michigan State Police and the Detroit Police Department, among other cities.

Date range: 1968-1980

Popular Culture in Britain and America

Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975

“Popular Culture explores the dynamic period of social, political and cultural change between 1950 and 1975. The resource offers thousands of colour images of manuscript and rare printed material as well as photographs, ephemera and memorabilia from this exciting period in our recent history.”

Social Protest Collection

Social Protest Collection, 1943-1982

“The Social Protest Collection held at the Bancroft Library at the University of California is a large collection, covering mainly 1960 to 1975. It was gathered by the Social Protest Project for the university’s undergraduate library between 1969 and 1982.

The collection consists of pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, posters, and other ephemera and primarily relates to the Vietnam War and Civil Rights demonstrations. There is also significant material on Black Power, the women’s movement, lesbian and gay rights, Third World issues, political documentation from the Left and Right, campus labour disputes and the movement against nuclear power and weaponry.”

Librarian for History and African American Studies

Steven Knowlton