Negroes with Guns [First Edition with:] Negroes With Guns [1973 Second, Corrected Edition with New Introduction, Inscribed by the Author]
Includes reprints of two essays by Martin Luther King, Jr. on non-violence
Memoir by an African American civil rights activist Robert F. Williams (1925–1996), a native of Monroe, North Carolina. He organized armed black resistance to the Ku Klux Klan in Monroe and later became the local chairman of the NAACP. Subsequently he became a national figure, advocating militant resistance to racism and inspiring the Black Panther Party.
Williams publicly debated national civil rights leaders Bayard Rustin and Martin Luther King, Jr. over the merits of using nonviolence. Though a critic of nonviolence and, as seen here, a proponent of black militancy and self-defense against racism and racist crimes, Williams’ memoir reprints two essays by Dr. King—“Hate is Always Tragic” and “The Social Organization of Non-Violence.”
Williams’ 1962 memoir “...made Williams a hero to the burgeoning American black power movement. Black Panther Party founder Huey P. Newton, for example, repeatedly cited Negroes with Guns as a major influence.” (ANB)
The book was written and first published while Williams was in exile in Cuba, having fled there when the FBI announced they were seeking his arrest for kidnapping, a charge that many believed to have been trumped-up.
A second, corrected edition of Negroes with Guns—an inscribed and signed copy of which is included here—was published in 1973. It was around this time that Williams, returned from his self-exile in 1969 and since free on bond, was seeking to re-start his life, including a post at the University of Michigan. This second edition contains a new introduction by John Henrik Clarke who assesses William’s importance to the cause of civil rights and tries to rehabilitate his reputation.
“Robert Williams’s life explodes the traditional narrative of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and early 1960s, which focuses largely on liberal politics and nonviolent protest. His public emphasis on armed self-defense, his clashes with the national NAACP and significant activists like Rustin and King, and his affiliation with international radical organizations and communist governments all speak to the complexity of southern black activism in the years before the national rise of the black power movement.” (ANB)
Description: Negroes with Guns [First Edition with:] Negroes With Guns [1973 Second, Corrected Edition with New Introduction, Inscribed by the Author]
New York: Marzani & Munsell, Inc., (1962). 128pp. First Edition. 8 x 5 inches. Publisher’s black, paper covered boards; dust jacket. Dust jacket with brief wear and soiling and minor chipping at extremities; overall, very good. [sold with:] Negroes with Guns. Chicago: Third World Press, (1973). , 7–128pp. Second, Corrected Edition with new Introduction by John Henrik Clarke. 8¾ x 5½ inches. Publisher’s red-orange cloth covers; without dust jacket, if issued. Inscribed and signed by author (upside down) on free, front endpaper. Minor soiling to covers; very good.