on May 19, 2006
Oh man! I got this because I'm a friend of AK Press (something everyone should look into doing). I don't know if I would've bought it on my own. Big mistake. This is incredible.
Black history, as presented in schools, is so sanitized ... and unrealistic. This, however, is far different.
While not a complete black history, this is one man's story ... and what a story it is. Williams was a man who had enough racism. He gets angry and isn't afraid to show it. Just look at the cover of the CD and check out its title. This truly is self-defense, and I think all people should know about it.
on January 11, 2006
"WE MUST MEET VIOLENCE WITH VIOLENCE! FREEDOM OR DEATH!" So this Cd begins with the booming voice of pioneering (and underrated) freedom fighter Robert Williams from his legendary radio show "Radio Free Dixie" sometime in the 60s.
For those who have not read RFW's books "Negroes With Guns" (1962)-this book influenced Huey Newton of the Black Panther movement- or "Listen Brother" (1968) or Tim Tyson's excellent bio "Radio Free Dixie" (1999), this is an excllent introduction to Martin Luther King's archrival and Malcolm X's comrade-in -arms (literally), the forgotten freedom fighter of Monroe, NC who took up guns aganst the KKK-Robert Franklin Williams (1925-1996).
The Cd consists of some documenatry narration stringing together Williams' tale with an extended interview with his widow Mrs. mabel Williams and actual excerpts form Williams's speeches, interviews, and radio shows. It would be nice of there was a cd of a complete episode of "radio free dixie," but what we have here is a good introduction for the uninitiated.
RFW's speeches may be too hot to handle for most listeners today (especially what he says about "the torch"), but it must be approached with an open mind. Like Nelson Mandela's "Spear of the Nation" in S/A in prior to his imprisonment, RFW made it clear that he was not speaking about initiating foolhardy and random acts of violence, but strictly within the bounds of self-defense. He did not engage in the gasbag rhetoric of charlatans that passes for black nationalism today that is designed for television cameras and brings cheers to bitter people. RFW was literally fighting for his life in many cases against the Klan and other racist groups and his actions backed up his words.
But enough of that-get this cd and read the above mentioned books and find out what your history teacher didn't tell you in high school. Also, there is a film documentary on RFW entitled "Negroes With Guns." Hoepfully, a DVD of that will soon be publicly available.