We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement

 Prof. Umoja discusses why he wrote We Will Shoot Back

The notion that the civil rights movement in the southern United States was a nonviolent movement remains a dominant theme of civil rights memory and representation in popular culture. Yet in dozens of southern communities, Black people picked up arms to defend their leaders, communities, and lives. In particular, Black people relied on armed self-defense in communities where federal government officials failed to safeguard activists and supporters from the violence of racists and segregationists, who were often supported by local law enforcement.

In We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement, Akinyele Omowale Umoja argues that armed resistance was critical to the efficacy of the southern freedom struggle and the dismantling of segregation and Black disenfranchisement. Intimidation and fear were central to the system of oppression in Mississippi and 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. Armed self-defense was a major tool of survival in allowing some Black southern communities to maintain their integrity and existence in the face of White supremacist terror. By 1965, armed resistance, particularly self-defense, was a significant factor in the challenge of the descendants of enslaved Africans to overturning fear and intimidation and developing different political and social relationships between Black and White Mississippians.

This riveting historical narrative relies upon oral history, archival material, and scholarly literature to reconstruct the use of armed resistance by Black activists and supporters in Mississippi to challenge racist terrorism, segregation, and fight for human rights and political empowerment from the early 1950s through the late 1970s. Continue reading

FRAMED, CAPTURED, GAGGED: “STATE REPRESSION OF BLACK RADICALS IN THE 1960’S”

VETERAN BLACK PANTHER LEADERS & FORMER POLITICAL PRISONERS

DHORUBA BIN WAHAD & ERIKA HUGGINS TO SPEAK IN NYC NEXT WEEK!

by the Baruch History Department

Monday, April 15, 2013 at 6:30pm

FREE ADMISSION

The panelists include:

Dhoruba Bin Wahad

Dhoruba Bin Wahad

Dhoruba Bin Wahad:  Former Black Panther released from prison after 19 years following the publication and discovery in 1990 of COINTELPRO documents pointing to his innocence and the FBI’s domestic counterintelligence program (code named “COINTELPRO”) frame-up.

Erika Huggins

Ericka Huggins

Ericka HugginsFormer Black Panther and Political Prisoner – imprisoned with Bobby Seale for two years in the 1960s and Director of the renowned Oakland Community School from 1973-1981.

Dr. Akinyele UmojaProfessor at Georgia State University, author of forthcoming book on the politics of self-defense in the southern civil rights movement.

Dequi Kjoni SadikiActivist, educator and co-coordinator of the Sekou Odinga Defense Committee.

Location Information:
Baruch Performing Arts Center – Newman Vertical Campus
Baruch College: 25th St. (bet. 3rd and Lexington Aves.), NYC
Contact Information:
Name: Box Office
Phone646-312-5073