Facts, key events in life of Al-Amin
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 18 Mar 2001
Name: Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, born as Hubert Gerold Brown
Nickname: H. Rap Brown
Parents: Eddie C. Brown, an oil company worker, and Thelma (Warren) Brown
Born: Baton Rouge, La., Oct. 4, 1943
Education: Attended Southern University, 1960-64
Occupation: Leader of the Community Mosque of Atlanta; owner, the Community Store
Personal: Married to Karima, a lawyer; two children, Ali, Kairi
Background: Black activist and social commentator of the 1960s who became widely known as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
Famous quote: "Violence is as American as cherry pie"
- Autobiography, Die Nigger Die (Dial Press, 1969) recounts how he developed a keen sense of the lowly status of blacks while growing up in Louisiana.
- Rallied the support of angry African-Americans against the white establishment in the late 1960s by openly supporting acts of violence.
- Became an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Alabama in 1966.
- Named minister of justice for the Black Panther Party in 1968.
- Accused in 1967 of instigating arson and riots in Cambridge, Md. "I hope they pick Brown up soon, put him away and throw away the key," said then-Gov. Spiro Agnew.
- Disappeared before he could go to trial on the Cambridge charges and made the FBI's most-wanted list, but resurfaced near the scene of a holdup and shootout in New York City in 1971. Served five years in prison on robbery charges.
- Converted to Islam while in prison and began using the name Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin.
- Paroled from prison in 1976, he moved to Atlanta, opened a small grocery and community store and became the leader of the Atlanta Community Mosque. Neighbors said the former activist worked hard to keep drugs and prostitution out of the area.
- Accused in 1995 of aggravated assault after a man claimed he was shot by Al-Amin. The man later recanted and said he was pressured by authorities to identify Al-Amin as the shooter.
- "I don't miss the '60s," he told an interviewer from The Washington Post in 1978.
Sources: Staff and published reports; Contemporary Black Biography, Who's Who Among African Americans, all by Gale Research Inc.
© 2001 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Reprinted for Fair Use Only.