Robert F. Williams

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Robert Franklin Williams (26 February 1925 – 15 October 15 1996) was an American Black Communist and Civil Rights Movement activist.

He was a local leader of the NAACP in the 1950s and into 1961. He was suspended after stating that "We cannot rely on the law. We can get no justice under the present system. If we feel that injustice is done, we must then be prepared to inflict justice on these people. Since the federal government will not bring a halt to lynching, and since the so-called courts lynch our people legally, if it's necessary to stop lynching with lynching, then we must be willing to resort to that method. We must meet violence with violence."

Also in 1961, he was accussed of kidnapping, possibly related to COINTELPRO, and decided to leave the country. He was acquitted in 1975.

Williams went to Cuba in 1961. He regularly broadcast addresses from Cuba to Southern blacks on "Radio Free Dixie". He established the station with approval of Cuban President Fidel Castro. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, Williams used Radio Free Dixie to urge Black soldiers in the U.S. armed forces, to engage in insurrection against the United States.

In 1962, he wrote Negroes with Guns, which has been reprinted many times. It included his disagreement with the non-violent wing of the Civil Rights Movement and was widely influential.

Despite his absence from the United States, in 1964 Williams was elected president of the US-based Revolutionary Action Movement.

In 1965, Williams traveled to Hanoi, then the capital of North Vietnam. In a public speech, he advocated armed violence against the United States during the Vietnam War, congratulated China on obtaining its own nuclear weapons (which Williams referred to as "The Freedom Bomb"), and supported North Vietnam against the United States.

See also

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