This Day in Black History: Oct. 4, 1943

Activist H. Rap Brown was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Posted: 10/04/2014 12:00 AM EDT

(Photo: Buyenlarge/Getty Images)


Hubert Brown was born on Oct. 4, 1943, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to parents who were committed social activists. While a student at Southern University, he joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, rising up the ranks to national director in 1966. His eloquence earned him the moniker H. "Rap" Brown.

But Brown soon grew disillusioned with SNCC's philosophy of nonviolence and started promoting more extremist views. He joined the Black Panther Party, becoming associated with the phrase "Burn, Baby, Burn," and declared violence a tool for Blacks that was "as American as cherry pie."

Brown later converted to Islam and changed his name to Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin while serving a prison sentence for robbery. He was, in fact, imprisoned several times over the years and in 2009 received a life sentence for the shooting death of a police officer that took place in the grocery store he owned in Atlanta.

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