The Black Power Movement

Part 1: The Papers of Robert F. Williams

Robert F. Williams, born in Union County, North Carolina, is one of the most underestimated forces in American political history. To an extent this is understandable because his most influential years were lived in exile in Cuba and China. His public communications were suppressed by the CIA and the U.S. Postal Service, and his ideas of armed struggle too militant for the U.S. news media to treat objectively.
Williams’s lifelong partner in politics was his wife Mabel, who joined him in armed defiance of racist assaults, co-hosted his radio program, and networked for his social causes. As the materials in this collection document, Robert and Mabel Williams provide an extraordinary record of a husband-wife partnership in the cause of social transformation (20 reels).

FINDING AID: The Papers of Robert F. Williams

Part 2: Amiri Baraka from Black Arts to Black Radicalism

UPA’s new series on the Black Power movement in America reproduces the large personal collection of Dr. Komozi Woodard, a Baraka comrade, who served in numerous roles in the movement. These roles included head of economic development for Kawaida Temple in Newark and editor of Unity and Struggle, the organ of the Congress of African People, and ultimately his role as leading academic scholar of Baraka’s political career. The collection covers Baraka’s career from his involvement in the Black Arts movement in the mid-1960s through the nationalist and Marxist periods into the late 1970s and early 1980s. The collection consists of a trove of rare works of poetry, organizational documents, rare print publications, and a small amount of personal correspondence (9 reels).

FINDING AID: Amiri Bakara from Black Arts to Black Radicalism

Part 3: Papers of the Revolutionary Action Movement, 1962-1996

This collection of Papers of the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) consists of the personal files of RAM founder and National Field Chairman Muhammad Ahmad and of RAM members John H. Bracey Jr. and Ernie Allen Jr. RAM was organized in 1962 by Muhammad Ahmad (known as Max Stanford until 1970). This collection of RAM records reproduces the central writings and position statements of RAM and its leaders. It also covers organizations that evolved from or were influenced by RAM and persons that had close ties to RAM (17 reels).

FINDING AID: Papers of the Revolutionary Action Movement, 1962-1996

Part 4: League of Revolutionary Black Workers

This collection of records of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers (LRBW) consists of the files collected by General Gordon Baker Jr., one of the founding members of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM) in 1968 and the LRBW in 1969. On May 2, 1968, in response to a work speedup at the Dodge Main plant in Hamtramck, Baker led several thousand workers out of the plant in a wildcat strike. This collection chronicles the rise and fall of the LRBW and its constituentorganizations. The materials date primarily from 1967 and 1975 and are arranged into nine series. (3 reels).

FINDING AID: League of Revolutionary Black Workers