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Negroes with Guns (African American Life Series)

24 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0814327142
ISBN-10: 0814327141
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

A southern black community's struggle to defend itself against racist groups.

From the Publisher

First published in 1962, "Negroes with Guns" is the story of a southern black community's struggle to arm itself in self-defense against the Ku Klux Klan and other racist groups. Frustrated and angered by violence condoned or abetted by the local authorities against blacks, the small community of Monroe, North Carolina, brought the issue of armed self-defense to the forefront of the civil rights movement. The single most important intellectual influence on Huey P. Newton, the founder of the Black Panther Party, "Negroes with Guns" is a classic story of a man who risked his life for democracy and freedom.

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Product Details

  • Series: African American Life Series
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press (June 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814327141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814327142
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Andre M. on January 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a raw, powerful book about an aspect of the Civil Rights movement that your history teacher was not likely to have told you. Contrary to popular belief, the Civil Rights movement was not all about Dr. King and nonviolence (with all due respect). Robert Williams preached and practiced armed self-defense against the powers that be. Read his story and learn. It will shock and inspire you (this book also inspired Huey Newton and the Black Panther movement). For more about this unsung hero, read Timothy Tyson's "Radio Free Dixie."
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Kilted Dad on November 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
There is much being said about gun ownership and the Second Amendment. Robert Williams book clearly illustrates why even in out "civilized" age that the protection of you and your family depends upon you.

Williams found out about this the hard way when the police refused to assist him against a racist onslaught, but also when the NAACP turned on him too and revoked his NAACP charter for using a gun to save himself from being lynched!

Who would have thought that it would be the the NRA that would come to the aid of Williams and his beleaguered people?

Not exactly the image that the media would like us to have of the NRA, or the NAACP for that matter.

Please do not let the injustice that this man and his family suffered or the painful lessons learned here go to waste!

Read this book and take it's lessons to heart.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Sylviastel VINE VOICE on April 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author, Robert F. Williams, was like any other African American man of his generation and time period. He had just returned home to Monroe, North Carolina from serving in the United States Military only to fight a war on the homefront.

I was assigned to read this book for my 20th Century American History class in college and it's a crucial part of a non-fiction account in explaining how life was in the South during the Jim Crow laws and segregration in the 1950s until the Civil Rights movement was in full force.

The author writes from his point of view in a convincing and persuasive style in order to help defend his right and others to bear arms in the South. In his home town of Monroe, North Carolina, African Americans were subjected to horrors of abuse and their perpetrators (almost always Caucasian) would get away from law enforcement.

Williams writes that he doesn't support violence with violence. No, he argues that for African Americans in his community, the right to bear arms and defend themselves is necessary since law enforcement, government agencies, and even the Monroe Police Department failed to defend their citizens based on race.

The stories here are true and horrifying about injustice to African Americans during this period. This book should be mandatory reading for everybody in the United States with regards to studying civil rights.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Honest on April 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
A very good book about racial tension during the 1950-1960s. It was written by Marine veteran Robert Williams who organized other men of African descent to protect themselves and their families against violent mental midgets during those dark days of Caucasian sponsored terrorism against their fellow USA citizens of African descent. This book will enlighten you about the brave men and women who stood up to the KKK during the civil rights struggle 50 years ago. Another book about African American men who spoke boldly about fighting for our freedom is 'David Walker's Appeal (To the Coloured People of the World) written during the 1820's in the midst of American enslavement of Christian African Americans.
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful By rodog63jr on March 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
Robert F. Williams is a man who is forgotten in most histories of The Civil Rights Movement. He talked and practiced self-defense before Malcolm X became a household name. He represented the militant leadership that was to follow him in the form of SNCC and The Black Panther Party. He correctly showed the limits of integration and why everyone could not turn the other cheek.A must buy book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By See59 on February 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stories like this one are never talked about when discussing the civil rights era. Strong black men who didn't advocate violence but were willing to pick up the gun and defend their women, children and community
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on February 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
We rarely hear about black people defending themselves. This book historically demonstrates that minorities must have the ability to protect themselves from the tyranny of the majority. The story of the Deacons of Defence arming themselves against the trepidations of racists is inspirational. Object lessons for people of all races and creeds. Buy it. I hope this book never goes away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DC on March 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a fan of 2A history. This book tells a story that is seldom told. Firearms are portrayed as tools of oppression and violence. There is a very strong tradition of Blacks owning and using firearms for sport and self defense. Think of the iconic photo of Malcolm X sitting by the window with an M1 Carbine to repel a possible threat to himself and/or his family.

I wish politicians and self appointed 'community leaders' that use firearms as a scapegoat for other problems in the Black community would read this book. I wish people that use terms like 'Saturday Night Specia;' knew the true meaning of these terms and the racist intent. I wish they knew the real origins and purposes of gun control. These people should then understand that firearms ownership is not just a 'white thing' it is an AMERICAN thing and a basic civil right of ALL CITIZENS no matter what race.

Irony-- those people living in high crime areas who don't understand 'stand your ground' laws and the 'castle doctrine'and want to repeal these protections are the very people who would most benefit from them.

Know your history so that you will remain a free citizen, not a slave or a subject.
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