By Banbose Shango, Camille Landry, Bob Brown, and the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC)
Sign and Forward this Petition!
We acknowledge our comrades who struggled for the freedom of African people, worldwide. Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, is one of them. The principles and objectives of Nkrumah-ism, Toure-ism and the objective of Pan-Africanism include support for people around the world who are held in bondage as a result of their struggles for freedom and national sovereignty and because of their socio-economic and political exploitation, oppression and repression. Our sisters and brothers, comrades and friends who suffer in prisons and jails, concentration camps, rendition and black sites, detention centers, halfway houses, under banishment and house arrest, and other confinement centers in Africa, the African Diaspora, and the World, have our sympathy and support.
Jamil is special to the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party / All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC), especially our cadre and supporters who worked, studied, and struggled by his side and under his leadership. Brother Jamil was prominent in the leadership of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, the Lowndes County and Green County Freedom Organization, and the Black Panther Movement.
Jamil’s principled, brotherly, and comradely relationship with Kwame Ture and other key members of the A-APRP / A-APRP (GC) including Jan Bailey, David Brothers, Bill “Winky” Hall and Helen (Leaks-Colbert) Woodruff continued until their transitions.
Kwame Jan David Bill Helen
His relationship with Koko Barnes, Bob Brown, Steven Farrow, Matungi Hapgood, Ethel Minor, Evelyn Monroe, Paul Monroe, Odinga Mukhtar, Seku Neblett, Willie “Mukassa” Ricks, Cleve Sellers, and other members and former members of the A-APRP / A-APRP (GC) continues today.
Koko Bob Freddie Matungi
Ethel Evelyn Paul Odinga
Mukassa Seku Cleve
Who is Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin?
Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, whose birth name was Hubert Gerold Brown, was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on October 4, 1943. In 1960 at the age of 17 he moved to Washington, DC to live with his older brother Ed Brown. Ed recruited him to the Nonviolent Action Group (NAG), the Howard University Affiliate of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Jamil enrolled at Howard University and was elected to the Chairmanship of NAG in 1964.
He was dubbed “Rap” by the Movement and the People for his oratorical skills, and his uncompromising and unyielding principles and actions. Rappin’ about and acting upon his revolutionary principles did not come without a price. He has been targeted and persecuted by federal, state, and local governments in the U.S. since the 1960s for his opposition to their racist, classist and oppressive actions. He went on to participate in many actions across the U.S.
From 1961, SNCC and Jamil supported the Cambridge (MD) Movement and the Cambridge Nonviolent Action Group, which was co-chaired by Gloria Richardson-Dandridge and Inez Grubb. CNAC was the only non-student led affiliate of SNCC. Reggie Robinson, Bill Hansen, Jamil, Cleve Sellers, Kwame Ture, and other SNCC field staff; the Civic Action Group in Baltimore, the Non-Violent Action Group in DC, the Northern Student Movement, and other SNCC affiliates, especially during the protests, rebellion and invocations of martial law against black communities in 1963 and 1964. Lawrence Landry, Gloria, Dick Gregory, Malcolm X and Stanley Branche, left to right in picture below, meet in Cambridge in 1964.
The effort to build Freedom Organizations in 650, then 30, then 10 and finally 3 counties across the Black Belt South and in Alabama was the first litter (generation) of Black Panther Parties in 1965 and 1966. The Friends of SNCC network across the U.S. was the second litter (1965 to 1968). The efforts between SNCC and RAM (the Revolutionary Action Movement) from 1966 to 1968 was the third litter. The efforts between SNCC, especially Jim Foreman, Jamil, and Kwame, with Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, Eldridge and Kathleen Cleaver, and the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (1966 to 1969) was the fourth litter. The international efforts to build Black Panther Parties was the fifth.Jamil participated in the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project in 1964 and in SNCC’s efforts to register voters and build the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. He was a member of the SNCC delegation who met President Lyndon Baines Johnson at the White House during the Selma protests of 1965. He coordinated SNCC’s voter registration campaign in Green County, Alabama in 1965-1966, and its efforts to build the Green County Freedom Organization, a sister organization to the Lowndes County and other Freedom Organizations in Alabama.
Jamil was elected chairperson of SNCC in 1967, one year after “Black Power” was re-echoed during the March against Fear in Greenwood, Mississippi, and became our rallying cry once again in every corner of Africa, the African Diaspora, and the World. Kwame (1966-1967) and Jamil (1967-1968) were two of SNCC’s six national chairpersons. The other four chairpersons were Marion Barry (1960), Chuck McDew (1960-1963), John Lewis (1963-1966), and Phil Hutchins (1968-1969).
SNCC, under the leadership of Kwame, Jamil and Jim Foreman (SNCC’s Executive Secretary) laid the foundation between 1965 and 1969 for the building of the Black Panther Movement in the United States and worldwide, including but not limited to the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense which was founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale on October 15, 1966. Jamil was chosen to be the Minister of Justice of the BPP-SD at the Free Huey Birthday Party in Oakland, California on February 17, 1968, Jim was chosen to be its Foreign Minister, and Kwame was chosen to serve as its Prime Minister. Jamil, Jim and SNCC resigned from the BPP-SD in July 1968, and Kwame resigned on July 4, 1969.
Jamil’s life-long commitment to freedom and justice has helped move the African Revolution forward by light years. He continues to be an inspiration and guide for our people and for all people and forces who truly seek justice, liberation, and peace. He has languished in state and federal prisons since 2002 on false charges of killing a sheriff’s deputy and wounding another in Fulton County, Georgia.
In 1967, Jamil was wounded without provocation, wrongfully arrested, and charged with inciting to riot in Cambridge, Maryland, and for carrying a gun across state lines. Governor Spiro Agnew, soon to become Vice President of the United States said: “I hope they pick him up soon, throw him away, and throw away the key.” A highly publicized trial in 1970 at which Jamil was represented by Howard Moore, Jr., William Kunstler, Flo Kennedy, and Murphy Bell of Baton Rouge, resulted in his release. J. L. Chestnut Jr., Rose and Hank Saunders, and a virtual who’s who of attorneys gave and give legal support.
A FBI memo called for “neutralizing” him, and he and Kwame were the main, the first two national targets of the August 25, 1967 COINTELPRO program. Muhammad Ahmad, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad were also listed as national targets. The U.S. Congress passed the “H. Rap Brown Law,” criminalizing travel across state lines to speak at 1st Amendment-protected events.
Jamil left the United States for 18 months and lived in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The FBI put him on its Ten Most Wanted List. Upon his return in 1971 he was arrested and wrongfully convicted for an alleged attempt to rob the Red-Carpet Lounge in New York. Jamil languished in Attica Prison from 1971 to 1976, converted to Islam, and changed his name to Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. Upon his release from prison he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, helped build the West End Community Masjid, opened a grocery store, and worked to end drug abuse and racism.
Michael Thelwell, the co-author of Ready for the Revolution, Kwame Ture’s Autobiography, called Rap Brown “the Black militant from hell, the Negro America loved to hate.” “Jamil embarked,” Thelwell told the San Francisco Call, “on a life of rigorous study and spiritual and moral inquiry with the single-minded intensity and uncompromising commitment [he] brought to militant struggle.”
Obaid H. Siddiqui wrote an article for Roots online titled “The Unofficial Gag Order of Jamil Al-Amin (H Rap Brown): 16 years in prison, Still not allowed to speak.” It exposes the prosecutorial mistakes and misconduct throughout the trial. To paraphrase Obaid, “Al-Amin resides at the modern intersection of Islamophobia, Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism.”
Jamil Al-Amin was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, in July 2014. It is an exceptionally painful and lethal form of cancer. He is receiving less-than-adequate care in the federal prison in Tucson, Arizona.
Jamil Al-Amin is one of many prisoners of conscience, political prisoners, prisoners of war, and socio-economic prisoners, worldwide. In 2002, 202 people and organizations signed A Statement from civil rights and labor activists, friends, and associates of Jamil Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown).
At the 1998 SNCC Tribute to Kwame Ture, the last time that Jamil would see him, Jamil concluded his presentation thus:
“… It is the sense of struggle we left the 60’s with and we continued with an awareness that struggle has not stopped. It did not begin in the ’50s and end in the ’70s. If our analysis of struggle is that it began in the ’50s and ended in the ’70s, it is a total failure of closure, on the part of our struggle, that we were involved in.
Again NO, the movements’ sense of struggle, which has always visited struggle. They say the anti-slavery movement; the Marcus Garvey movement; the black power movement; the civil rights movement, may come and may go, but the struggle is continuous until or unless Allah has righted the wrong that has come about. And again, may Allah be pleased by the efforts that have been put forth by all the people who have struggled here.
And again with Kwame that he knows that Allah has raised him and that Allah has commanded in terms of a higher level of struggle, for him, and that Allah will allow him to understand the importance in this life of making the declaration concerning that which is true. And Allah will allow him to understand in terms that when Allah begins to move us from one condition to another, it is for a reason. And it is in mercy that he gives us time to reflect and to grow.
So again, we ask Allah for a look that is merciful. A knowledge that is useful. A heart that is enlightened. A tongue that is truthful. And an intellect that is inherent, and a continent that is pleasing to Allah. And may Allah give us success in this life and in the hear after. May he raise us in the company of the righteous. And may Allah allow the invitation that he has given, to be accepted. As-Salam-u-Alaikum.”
In 2000, Fulton County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to serve a warrant on Jamil for a missed court appointment on charges that involved speeding and showing a legitimate “honorary police officer” badge that he had acquired as a result of his organizing activities and his long relationship with Mayor Johnny Jackson of Whitehall, Alabama. Johnny was a former staff member of SNCC. His family were SNCC supporters and instrumental in helping register Africans to vote. He is a founding of the Lowndes County Freedom Organization. During the attempt to serve the warrant, gunshots were fired, a deputy was killed, and another was wounded.
On March 9, 2002, nearly two years after the shooting, Al-Amin was wrongfully convicted of 13 criminal charges including the deputy’s murder. Four days later he was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. Otis Jackson, a man incarcerated for unrelated charges, confessed to the Fulton County shooting two years before Al-Amin was convicted of the same crime. The court did not consider Jackson’s statement as evidence even though Jackson’s testimony was credible and included details that only the shooter could know. What is more, Al-Amin had a solid alibi for his whereabouts at a location distant from the shooting at the time of the deputy’s death.
The Intelligence-Police-Prison Industrial Complex
People familiar with the Repression Industrial Complex (RIP), the Intelligence-Police-Prison Intelligence Complex (IPPIC), and prison imperialism, worldwide, especially the criminal injustice, mass incarceration system in the United States, will recognize the pattern of false accusations and unfair trials coupled with over-sentencing and harsh penalties that are conferred on African people every day, and that hammer without mercy upon those who dare to speak up against the racism, classism, sexism, and oppression that is so deeply rooted in this nation.
According to the April 3, 2019, Pew Research Center: FACTTANK: “In 2017, blacks represented 12% of the U.S. adult population but 33% of the sentenced prison population. Whites accounted for 64% of adults but 30% of prisoners.” We can see this reality for African people in the U.S. even clearer, when we look at a NAACP – Criminal Justice Fact Sheet – 2020 in Racial Disparities in Incarceration:
- “In 2014, African Americans constituted 2.3 million, or 34%, of the total 6.8 million correctional population.
- African Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites.
- The imprisonment rate for African American women is twice that of white women.
- Nationwide, African American children represent 32% of children who are arrested, 42% of children who are detained, and 52% of children whose cases are judicially waived to criminal court.
- Though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately 32% of the U.S. population, they comprised 56% of all incarcerated people in 2015.
- If African Americans and Hispanics were incarcerated at the same rates as whites, prison and jail populations would decline by almost 40%.
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons has 142,255 federal prisoners in BOP-managed facilities, 10,552 in community-bases facilities. As of April 29, 2020, 1,534 federal inmates and 343 BOP staff have tested positive for COVID-19 nationwide; 414 inmates and 132 staff recovered, and 31 inmates have died.
Al-Amin appealed his case to the US Supreme Court. In April 2020, the Court refused to hear his appeal, thus permanently denying justice to this 76-year-old brother warrior who is a living example of the inherent racism and injustice of the U.S. criminal justice system. This refusal to hear Brother Al-Amin’s appeal can be put in a long term historical perspective on how the court system and Supreme Court Judges have and do view African people by the expressed opinion of the United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Tanney, during the Dread Scott Case of 1857 when he wrote in the Court’s majority opinion that:
“… because Scott was black, he was not a citizen and therefore had no right to sue. The framers of the Constitution, he wrote, believed that blacks “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made by it.”
(Source: Resource Bank Contents/WGBH/PBS ONLINE)
For 517 years (1513 to 2020), the criminal injustice system in the United States, which is a part of the larger Intelligence-Police-Prison Industrial Complex, has served nothing more than as a tool for control and terror against the Indigenous People’s, Africans, and other Oppressed Peoples in and outside its settler-colonial, and colonial borders. As a tool for capitalism, and imperialism worldwide, we must fight against it, and destroy the entire capitalist / imperialist system in all its various forms.
This victory will lead us toward the road of freedom, justice and peace, happiness, and unity. This is why it is important for all African people to rally around the call for Pan-Africanism, the total liberation and unification of Africa, from Cape Town to Cairo, under an all African scientific socialist government; and the total liberation and unification of all African People, irrespective of where we live in every corner of the African Diaspora. With this objective achieved, African people will be operating from a position of strength and not weakness.
Injustice does not begin or end at U.S. airports, ports, or border-walls. As it does with so many aspects of U.S. colonialist, settler-colonialist and neo-colonialist foreign policies and practices, which is imperialism at its last stage of domination, the U.S. exports of prison imperialism can be best understood by a quote from the Alliance for Global Justice,
“… [T]he term Prison Imperialism refers to the efforts of the U.S. government to export its model of mass incarceration around the world, a process that began 20 years ago on March 31, 2000.”
“Through this process, the U.S. government finances, manages, and designs prisons with the goal of restructuring the penal systems of different countries, especially in the global South. Today, the U.S. is directly involved in penitentiary systems in at least 40 countries. Prison Imperialism creates a world dependency on the U.S. and its politics of repression, and guarantees that the world will be turned into one great prison that seeks to divide the people from the rich and powerful in order to maintain their privileges and decadent luxury.
“Today, the U.S. model of mass incarceration represents a threat for the life and liberty of every one of us. The U.S. has five percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the global prison population and the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Presently, more than 2.3 million persons in the U.S. live locked down in a system characterized by violence, overcrowding, and precarious health conditions. Given the news that the U.S. heads the list of coronavirus cases globally, and given its primary responsibility for Prison Imperialism, the U.S. government has the obligation to fulfill our demands and stop the exportation of its penitentiary model.”
“We must stand for justice, but we must never forget mercy.”
Andy Young spoke at a program at Tyler Perry’s studio in Atlanta during an event to announce the Fulton County District Attorney’s new Conviction Integrity Unit. “The goal of the unit,” according to an article published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “is to help free the wrongfully convicted or help shorten inordinately long prison sentences.” “Andy talked,” the article continued,
“About justice, race, the causes of crime, the cost of prisons, Martin Luther King, Jr., German Shepherds and then, finally, about a case “that weighs heavy on my heart because I really think he was wrongfully convicted. … I’m talking about Jamil Al-Amin,” he said, “H. Rap Brown.”
“I think it’s time to rejudge,” said Young. “He’s been dying of cancer and has been suffering away from his family in the worst prisons of this nation.” He turned to those in the new unit and said, “Anything you can do, even bring him home to be close to his family and friends,” before concluding with, “We must stand for justice, but we must never forget mercy.”
Kairi Al-Amin, Jamil’s Attorney and Son, said: “We will have to take this case to the court of public opinion.”
“If you can get behind the idea,” Kairi said: “of Imam Jamil or anyone for that matter finally receiving a fair opportunity to prove their innocence, then please, sign and share our petition. We must let District Attorney Paul Howard and The Fulton County Conviction Integrity Unit know that we are paying attention and we demand fairness and justice at the very least. Meet me on the front line!”
Sign and Forward this Petition!
To continue to work on exonerating Jamil Al-Amin, The Justice Fund is requesting support to assist in challenging the constitutional violations acknowledged but not honored to overturn the State of Georgia conviction. For more information on Brother Jamil Al-Amin’s Defense, e-mail:
You can write and send donations to:
The Justice Fund
c/o Al-Amin Law Group, LLC
1000 N. Indian Creek Drive, Suite A
Clarkston, GA 30021
Donations also can be made via paypal.me; Pay, Mr. Al-Amin, LLC
The All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC)
[Note: The A-APRP (GC) is indebted to Brother Bilal Sunni-Ali, Media Coordinator of the Imam Jamil Action Network (IJAN) for his help in writing this article, and for IJAN’s campaign to help exonerate and free Jamil. We encourage you to listen to his radio program and catalogue of interviews.]