Robert F. Williams

Williams in 1961 Robert Franklin Williams (February 26, 1925 – October 15, 1996) was an American civil rights leader and author best known for serving as president of the Monroe, North Carolina chapter of the NAACP in the 1950s and into 1961. He succeeded in integrating the local public library and swimming pool in Monroe. At a time of high racial tension and official abuses, Williams promoted armed Black self-defense in the United States. In addition, he helped gain support for gubernatorial pardons in 1959 for two young African-American boys who had received lengthy reformatory sentences in what was known as the Kissing Case of 1958.

Williams obtained a charter from the National Rifle Association and set up a rifle club to defend Black people in Monroe from Ku Klux Klan or other attackers. The local chapter of the NAACP supported Freedom Riders who traveled to Monroe in the summer of 1961 in a test of integrating interstate buses. In August 1961 he and his wife left the United States for several years to avoid kidnapping charges after a white couple got lost in the black part of town in Monroe. The local police and the FBI allegedly convinced the couple to say Williams had kidnapped them, and the FBI put out a warrant for his arrest, causing him to flee to Cuba, and, later, the People's Republic of China. These charges were dropped by the state when his trial opened in 1975 following his return in 1970.

Williams' book ''Negroes with Guns'' (1962) has been reprinted many times, most recently in 2013. It details his experience with violent racism and his disagreement with the non-violent wing of the Civil Rights Movement. The text was widely influential; Black Panther Party founder Huey Newton and African American Defense League founder Mauricelm-Lei Millere cited it as a major inspiration. Provided by Wikipedia
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    Other Authors: “…Williams, Robert F. (Robert Forrest), 1945-…”
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    Other Authors: “…Williams, Robert F. (Robert Forrest), 1945-…”
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    Published 1990
    Other Authors: “…Williams, Robert F. (Robert Forrest), 1945-…”
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