History of the PG-RNA|The Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika
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History of the PG-RNA|The Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika

History of the PG-RNA|The Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika

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History of the PG-RNA|The Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika History of the PG-RNA|The Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika Document Transcript

  • History of the PG-RNA The Provisional Government of the Republic of New AfrikaHistory of the PG-RNA 1|Page
  • History of the PG-RNA 2|Page
  • A Black Nation - a New Afrikan nation - exists in the United States. It began forming duringcolonial days, after 1660, when the Black Codes were instituted. It was fully evolved by the timeof the Civil War in 1861, two hundred years later. We have common culture, commonperspective and values, and group identity, and common gene pool, derived from our distinctgroup history. We are "New Afrikans" because We, an Afrikan people, evolved from not one butseveral Afrikan nations and have some Indian (Native/indigenous) and European genes, meldedduring the course of 200 years, between 1660 and 1861.Those seeking independent statehood began once more in 1968. Three years after theassassination of Brother Omowale, Malcolm X, led by his inspiration and teachings, hisfollowers in the Malcolm X Society lead over 500 Black activists at a national convention of ourpeople. The Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika (PG-RNA) was formed andbrought into exstence on March 30-31 of that year and announced a parliamentary strategy forwinning independence. They issued a Declaration of Independence of the Black nation; named itRNA; formed a Provisional Government ["Provisonal" means "temporary" or, in this case, "pre-independent], with officials elected in Convention; created basic law and adopted a constitution,"Code of Umoja" (revised); identified and designated the Five States of Louisiana, Mississippi,Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina as the New Afrikan nations National Territory [subject toagreement with the Indigenous People]; under a mandate the PG-RNA set as its main purposesand goals: to free the oppressed Black nation in North America making it even more independentthan Canada, for those of us who want this; to win Reparations from the United States. PG-RNAcadres aim is to educate people about our existence as an oppressed, colonized nation and ourright to self-determination; our right to "Free The Land" (our battle cry); and to create by anindependence plebiscite (a vote of the people) an independent Black nation-state, to be held firstin the counties of western Mississippi and the parishes of eastern Louisiana [the Kush District],in accordance to U.N. General Assembly resolutions.History of the PG-RNA 3|Page
  • VIDEO IEBREAKERNotables Prior to 1968  Gabriel Prosser  Denmark Vesey  Osborne Perry Anderson  Tunis Campbell  Edwin McCabe  El Hajj El Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X)  Queen Mother MooreDifferent Elements and Parts of PG-RNAThe Peoples Center Council (PCC)-- Congress, National Legislature or Parliament is made up ofDistrict Representatives from PGRNA electoral districts across the U.S.A.The Peoples Revolutionary Leadership Council (PRLC) -- A Cabinet headed by the NationalPresident, three National Vice Presidents, Ministries, Court System, and Other Govt. entities,including the Land Fund Committee, etc.History of the PG-RNA 4|Page
  • PG-RNA Cabinet in 1968:  1st President: Robert F. Williams (1925-1996) : He was in China 1966 to May 1968; Tanzania, May 1968 to Sept. 1969)  1st Vice President: Gaidi Obadele (Atty. Milton R. Henry)  2nd Vice President: Betty Shabazz (1934-1997)  Minister of Information: Imari A. Obadele (Richard Bullock Henry)  Minister of Health and Welfare: Queen Mother Moore (1899-1997)  Minister of Education: Herman Ferguson  Minister of State and Foreign Affairs: William Grant  Minister of Defense: H. Rap Brown (now, Jalil Al Amin): He was also Minister of Justice for BPP in May 4, 1968 issue of The Black Panther.  Co-Ministers of Culture: Imamu Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Maulana Karenga and Baba Adefunmi  Minister of Justice: Joan Franklin  Minister of Finance: Raymond Willis  Special Ambassador: Muhammad Ahmed (Maxwell Stanford)PG-RNA Cabinet in 1969:President: Robert F. Williams (1925-1997): He returned to U.S. (Detroit), Sept. 1969. (TheBlack Panther, Dec. 6, 1969; Jan. 3, 1970). 1st Vice President: Gaidi Obadele (Atty. Milton R.Henry) 2nd Vice President: Betty Shabazz (d. 1997)Minister of Education: Maulana Karenga: denounced and removed by PCC in Detroit, Apr. 5th.A May 11, 1969 letter in The Black Panther officially denounced Karenga. Wilbur Grattan Sr.,the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs of the "Republic of New Africa," wrote to BobbySeale: "Speaking in the position of Minister of State and Foreign Affairs for RNA, I have alwaysfelt that Ron Karenga represented a great deal less than the best interests of the Black Liberationstruggle against domestic colonialism, white racism, and world-wide imperialism." Herman B.Ferguson was afterwards appointed Minister of Education, East Coast Vice President, and actingdirector of Freedom Corps.Minister of State and Foreign Affairs: Wilbur Grattan Sr. Minister of Defense: Mwuesi Chui,commander of Black LegionThe "New Bethel Incident" took place in Detroit, Michigan, in March 31, 1969 during the FirstNew Afrikan Nation Day Celebration at the New Bethel Baptist Church, on the West Side. Onepoliceman killed and another wounded. Four Blacks wounded. Between 135 and 240 personswere arrested. Police later freed 125 persons. Criminal Court Judge George Crockett, frees 8other Blacks. Chaka Fuller, Rafael Viera, and Alfred 2X Hibbets were charged with killing. All 3were subsequent tried and acquitted. Chaka Fuller was mysterious assassinated a few monthsafterwards.History of the PG-RNA 5|Page
  •  April 2, 1969 - The New York BPP "21" arrested on conspiracy charges.In 1969, a Newsweek magazine poll of Afrikans in the Northern U.S. showed that 27 percent ofAfrikans under age thirty (and 18 percent of those over the age of thirty), wanted an independentAfrikan state.PG-RNA Cabinet in 1970:President: Robert F. Williams (1925-1997) Minister of Defense: Alajo Adegbalola (?)PG-RNA Cabinet in 1971:President: Imari Obadele , 1st Vice President: Alajo Adegbalola (?) 2nd Vice President: ChokweLumumba (?)Workers of the PG-RNA also announced that they would not permit those who opposed thepeaceful plebiscite to shoot at them with impunity. The RNA cadres in Mississippi andelsewhere, in 1970 and 1971 were armed for self-defense.  March 5th, BPP sponsors Day of Solidarity dedicated to "Freedom of Political Prisoners."On March 28th, the RNA Capitol consecrated, Hinds County, Mississippi. Over 200 personsattended the dedication.They used, and use, political means rather than military means. The United States JusticeDepartment, instead of helping to organize the plebiscite; on 18 August 1971 a force of FBIagents and local Jackson police staged an armed attack on the official Government Residence(the main residence-office of the PG) in Jackson, Mississippi, supposedly to serve fugitivewarrants on three RNA members (one being a FBI informant/agent provocateur). The five peoplein the house were not wounded by the 20-minute barrage of bullets--a skirmish, but one policelieutenant died and another policeman and an FBI agent were wounded. Five young men and twoyoung women at this house were captured, along with PG-RNA President, Imari Obadele, andthree others in a nearby office, and sent to jail.In the face of this unprovoked attack, three PG-RNA workers: Antar Ra, Maceo Sundiata (fsnMichael Finney) and Fela Sekou Olatunji (fsn Charles Hill) from the Bay Area, left in responseto the call for Mississippi to provide support and defense for our assaulted movement. Clearlythe U.S. had declared war on us! While driving east, the three were intercepted by a policemanwhose aggressiveness caused his death. They then commandeered an airline and arrived in Cuba.They were granted asylum.(On August 19th, FBI and police tried to assassinate President Imari Obadele.)They are convicted two years later. Most served long years in jail. Their sovereign immunitydemand was flatly rejected by the United States courts and executive branch, and no one wasaccorded treatment as a prisoner-of-war.History of the PG-RNA 6|Page
  • The Republic of New Afrika-Eleven (RNA-11): Citizens of the RNA: Imari Obadele; HekimaAna and his wife, Tamu Sana, and Chumaimari Askadi (fsn Charles Stallings), all of Milwaukee;Karim Njabafudi (fsn Larry Jackson) of New Orleans; Tarik Nkrumah (fsn George Matthews) ofBoston; Addis Abba (fsn Dennis Shillingford) of Detroit; Offogga Qudduss (fsn Wayne M.James) and Njeri Qudduss, both of Camden, New Jersey; Spade de Mau Mau (fsn S. Walker) ofJackson, Mississippi; and Aisha Salim (fsn Brenda Blount) of Philadelphia.PG-RNA Cabinet in 1972:President: Gaidi Obadele Vice Presidents: Alajo Adegbalola, Chokwe Lumumba, Herman B.Ferguson (?) Army: Black Legion commander: Gen. Mwuesi ChuiIn 1972, Ahmed Obafemi had been sentenced on a gun charge clearly engineered by the F.B.I.sCointelpro. The F.B.I. succeeded in framing this key leader and officer of the RNA-PG. He wasdoing political work at the Democratic National Convention in Miami, Florida. Sentenced withhim was Tarik Sonnebeyatta, of Camden, New Jersey. Brother Ahmed was jailed.PG-RNA Cabinet in 1973:  Jan. 7, 1973 - Mark Essex, 23; is killed atop New Orleans hotel after killing 6 and wounding 15.  Jan. 19th - One policeman killed and 2 wounded as Black freedom fighters seize a Brooklyn sporting goods store.  May 2nd - Assata Shakur (fsn JoAnne Chesimard) wounded and Sundiata Acoli (fsn Clark Squire) arrested.  Nov. 14th - Twyman Fred Myers, 23, BLA member, ambushed by FBI and New York police; was 6th BLA member killed in this fashion.PG-RNA Cabinet in 1980:President: Imari Obadele  A study conducted among Afrikan college students by Professor Luke Tripp which showed that 34 percent of the students favored an independent Afrikan state in North Amerika.By the middle of 1980, because of public support and intense legal work, almost all of the RNA-11 (except for one) were set free and out of jail.In the fall, some members of BLA, and some accused of being BLA personnel, had come underintense oncentration by FBI and, principally, New York, New Jersey, and California police.PG-RNA Cabinet in 1981:President: Imari Obadele PCC Chairperson: Fulani Sunni-AliHistory of the PG-RNA 7|Page
  • July 1983 - Peoples Center Council (PCC) Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, RNA NationalTerritory.Oct./Nov. 1984 - Third National New Afrikan ElectionsNov. 1985 - Peoples Center Council (PCC) Meeting in Chicago, Illinois.PG-RNA Cabinet in 1986:President: Imari Obadele Minister of Justice: Nkechi Taifa Minister of Defense: Gen. ChuiJuly 1986 - Peoples Center Council (PCC) Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, RNA NationalTerritory.July 1986 - Peoples Center Council (PCC) Meeting in Detroit, Michigan.Sept. 1986 - Peoples Center Council (PCC) Meeting in Brooklyn, New York.PG-RNA Cabinet in 1987:President: Imari Obadele Minister of Justice: Nkechi TaifaJuly 1987 - Peoples Center Council (PCC) Meeting in Washington, DC (Banneker City).Oct./Nov. 1987 - Fourth National New Afrikan ElectionsOct./Nov. 1990 - Fifth National New Afrikan Elections: Kwame Afoh elected president.PG-RNA Cabinet in 1991:President: Kwame Afoh PCC Chairperson: Imari ObadelePG-RNA Cabinet in 1992:President: Kwame Afoh PCC Chairperson: Imari ObadelePG-RNA Cabinet in 1993:President: Kwame Afoh PCC Chairperson: Imari ObadeleNov. 1993 - National New Afrikan Elections: President Kwame Afoh re-elected.  In April 1994, several mainstream newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, and the Wall Street Journal) ran articles dealing with University of Chicago Professor Michael Dawson and Professor Ronald Brown of Wayne State University. The report concerned the findings of a random national survey of 1,206History of the PG-RNA 8|Page
  • Afrikans in the U.S., which in Dawsons words showed " a more radical Black America than existed even five years ago." (Wall Street Journal). It found that fifty percent of Afrikans in the U.S. believe that our people are "a nation within a nation."Oct. 1996 - National New Afrikan Elections: President Kwame Afoh re-elected.PG-RNA Cabinet in 1997:President: Kwame Afoh PCC Chairperson: Marilyn Preston KillinghamPG-RNA Cabinet in 1998:President: Kwame Afoh PCC Chairperson: Marilyn Preston KillinghamOct./Nov. 1999 - National New Afrikan ElectionsRecent Developments  Republic of New Afrika  Republic of New Africa  History and Select Documents of the Provisional Government of the REPUBLIC of NEW AFRIKA  New Afrika (Blog)Black Legion (Armed Forces)Reference Material -- Articles and BooksA Brief History of Black Struggle in America, by Kwame Afoh, Chokwe Lumumba, Imari A.Obadele, and Ahmed Obafemi, 1997.A Short History of the Republic of New Afrika, 1970.Crossroad, Vol. 8, No. 1, June 1997, p. 10.Ebony, Feb. 1995, pp. 76-82Forty Acres and A Mule....In Search of Shermans Reservation, by Roger Clendening.Nation Time, Vol. 1, Fall 1996Nation Time, Vol. 2, Spring 1997History of the PG-RNA 9|Page
  • New Afrikan Prison Organization Calendar, 1978.New Afrikan Prison Organization Calendar, 1979.New York Times, March-August, 1969New York Times, March-November, 1971Provisional Government Legal Chronology, by Kwame Welsh. PDCLA, Sept. 1997.Black Law--Code of UmojaWeekly excerpts from the Code of Umoja: the Constitution of the PGRNAGovernment Structure:Peoples Center Council (PCC)-- Congress, National Legislature or Parliament:PCC Chairperson: Rep./Judge Marilyn Preston Killingham (DC)PCC Vice Chairperson: Rep. Sekou Owusu (NY)Secretary: Jason Mitchell (NY)District Representatives from PGRNA electoral districts across the U.S.A. (not more than 5 perdistrict)States with Confirmed and Non-certified Elected Officials:FloridaNew YorkIllinoisLouisianaTennesseeWashington, DCPeoples Revolutionary Leadership Council (PRLC) -- Headed by the National President:Kwame K. Afoh (FL)Three National Vice Presidents:First Vice President: Min. Safiya A. Bukhari (NY)Second Vice President: Kalonji Olusegun (DC)Ministries:History of the PG-RNA 10 |Page
  • Treasurer: V.P. Kalonji Olusegun (DC)Min. of Finance: Dr. Demetri Marshall (MS)Dep. Min. of Finance (Western Region): Sis. Nobantu AnkoandaDep. Min. of Finaces (Eastern Region): Sis.Min. of Economic DevelopmentSub-ministry of AgricultureMin. of Foreign Affairs: Dr. Imari A. ObadeleDeputy Min. of United Nations Affairs: Viola PlummerMin. of Defense (Security): First V.P. Safiya BukhariDeputy Min. of DefenseMin. of Information: Owusu Yaki Yakubu -- publishes New Afrikan newspaper and documentsDep. Min. of Information (Western Region): K. Kwame WelshMin. of Education: Judge Hannibal AfrikMin. of Interior -- organizes units, R/R/RMin. of HealthMin. of New Afrikan FamilySub-ministry of Youth: Harold Hunter, Nzinga Regtuiniah ChavisMin. of Spirituality and Culture: Co-Minister Rep. Nia Kuumba and Co-Minister Fulani Sunni-Ali -- integrates in New Afrikan Independence Movement (NAIM)Court System:District Court Judges from PGRNA electoral districts across the U.S.A. (not more than 2 perdistrict)States with judges:District of ColumbiaIllinoisNew YorkTennesseeOther Govt. entities:Land Fund Committee -- acquires land in National Territory (Based in Detroit, MI, scheduled torelocate to National Territory).History of the PG-RNA 11 |Page
  • Other Govt. activities:New Afrikan Nation Day (NAND), March 2000, in Jackson, Mississippi, National Territory.PGRNA National New Afrikan Elections (NNAE)October-November 1999REVISED: April 24, 1999The New Afrikan Creed1969WITH CHANGES APPROVED 5 MAY 19931. I believe in the spirituality, humanity and genius of Black People, and in our new pursuit ofthese values.2. I believe in the family and the community and the community as a family, and i will work tomake this concept live.3. I believe in the community as more important than the individual.4. I believe in constant struggle for freedom, to end oppression and build a better world. I believein collective struggle, in fashioning victory in concert with my brothers and sisters.5. I believe that the fundamental reason our oppression continues is that We, as a people, lack thepower to control our lives.6. I believe that the fundamental way to gain that power, and end oppression, is to build asovereign Black nation.7. I believe that all the land in America, upon which We have lived for a long time, which Wehave worked and built upon, and which We have fought to stay on, is land for Us to use as apeople.8. I believe in the Malcolm X Doctrine: that We must organize upon this land and hold aHistory of the PG-RNA 12 |Page
  • plebiscite, to tell the world by a vote that We are free and the land independent, and that, afterthe vote, We must stand ready to defend ourselves, establishing the nation beyond contradiction.9. Therefore, i pledge to struggle without cease, until We have won sovereignty. I pledge tostruggle without fail until We have built a Better condition than the world has yet known.10. I will give my life if that is necessary. I will give my time, my mind, my strength and mywealth because this IS necessary.11. I will follow my chosen leaders and help them.12. I will love my brothers and sisters as myself.13. I will steal nothing from a brother or sister, cheat no brother or sister, misuse no brother orsister, inform on no brother or sister, and spread no gossip.14. I will keep myself clean in body, dress and speech, knowing that i am a light set on a hill, atrue representative of what We are building.15. I will be patient and uplifting with the deaf, dumb and blind, and i will seek by word anddeed to heal the Black family, to bring into the Movement and into the Community mothers andfathers, brothers and sisters, left by the wayside.Now, freely and of my own will, i pledge this Creed, for the sake of freedom for my people and abetter world, on the pain of disgrace and banishment if i prove false. For, i am no longer deaf,dumb or blind. I am, by the inspiration of our Ancestors and the grace of our Creator a NewAfrikan!The New Afrikan Declaration of IndependenceThis is one of the main political and philosophical documents of the New Afrikan IndependenceMovement, which guide the Work of the Provisional Government of the Republic of NewAfrika.The Declaration of Independence31 March 1968 - Detroit, Michigan[EXCERPTS]History of the PG-RNA 13 |Page
  • We, the Black People in America, in consequence of arriving at a knowledge of ourselves as apeople with dignity, long deprived of that knowledge....We claim no rights from the United States of America other than those rights belonging tohuman beings anywhere in the world, and these include the right to damages, reparations, due usfor the grievous injuries sustained by our ancestors and by ourselves by reason of United Stateslawlessness....- To free Black people in America from oppression;....- To build a new Society that is better than What We now know and as perfect as man can make;- To assure all people in the New Society maximum opportunity and equal access to thatmaximum;- To promote industriousness, responsibility, scholarship and service;- To create conditions in which freedom of religion abounds and mans pursuit of God and thedestiny, place, and purpose of man in the Universe will be without hindrance;- To build a Black independent nation where no sect or religious creed subverts or impedes thebuilding of a New Society, the new State government, or the achievement of the Aims of theRevolution as set forth in this Declaration;....Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika:President Kwame AfohChairperson Marilyn Preston Killingham, Peoples Center CouncilAlso please contact:The Malcolm Generation, Inc.P.O. Box 74084Baton Rouge, LA 70874504-357-0851REVISED: April 24, 1999History of the PG-RNA 14 |Page
  • Police violence and New Bethel Incident"The "New Bethel Incident" took place in Detroit, Michigan, in March 31, 1969 during the FirstNew Afrikan Nation Day Celebration at the New Bethel Baptist Church, on the West Side. Onepoliceman killed and another wounded. Four Blacks wounded. Between 135 and 240 personswere arrested. Police later freed 125 persons. Criminal Court Judge G. Crockett [1909-1997],frees 8 other Blacks. Chaka Fuller, Rafael Viera, and Alfred 2X Hibbets were charged withkilling. All 3 were subsequent tried and acquitted. Chaka Fuller was mysterious assassinated afew months afterwards."The seeds of Malcolm took further root on March 29,1968. On that date the ProvisionalGovernment of the Republic of New Afrika (RNA) was founded at a convention held at theBlack - owned Twenty Grand Motel in Detroit. Over 500 grassroot activists came together toissue a Declaration of Independence on behalf of the oppressed Black Nation Inside NorthAmerica, and the New Afrikan Independence Movement (NAIM) was born.[19] Since thenBlacks desiring an independent Black Nation have referred to themselves and other Blacks in theU.S. as New Afrikans."COINTELPRO Attacks"In 1969 COINTELPRO launched its main attack on the Black Liberation Movement in earnest.It began with the mass arrest of Lumumba Shakur and the New York Panther 21. It followedwith a series of military raids on Black Panther Party offices in Philadelphia, Baltimore, NewHaven, Jersey City, Detroit, Chicago, Denver, Omaha, Sacramento. and San Diego, and wascapped off with a four-hour siege that poured thousands of rounds into the Los Angeles BPPoffice. Fortunately Geronimo ji Jaga, decorated Vietnam vet had earlier fortified the office towithstand an assault, and no Panthers were seriously injured. However, repercussions from theoutcome eventually drove him underground. The widespread attacks left Panthers dead all acrossthe country - Fred Hampton, Mark Clark, Bunchy Carter, John Huggins, John Savage, WalterToure Pope, Bobby Hutton, Sylvester Bell, Frank "Capt. Franco" Diggs, Fred Bennett, JamesHistory of the PG-RNA 15 |Page
  • Carr, Larry Robeson, Spurgeon "Jake" Winters, Alex Rackley, Arthur Morris, SteveBartholomew, Robert Lawrence, Tommy Lewis, Nathaniel Clark, Welton Armstead, SidneyMiller, Sterling Jones, Babatunde Omawali, Samuel Napier, Harold Russle, and Robert Webbamong others.[21] In the three years after J. Edgar Hoovers infamous COINTELPROmemorandum, dated August 25, 1967, 31 members of the BPP were killed,[22] nearly athousand were arrested, and key leaders were sent to jail. Others were driven underground. Stillothers, like BPP field marshal Donald "D.C." Cox, were driven into exile overseas.Also in 69, Clarence 13X, founder of the Five Percenters, was mysteriously murdered in theelevator of a Harlem project building. His killer was never discovered and his adherents suspectgovernment complicity in his death.The RNA was similarly attacked that year. During their second annual convention in March 69,held at reverend C.L. Franklins New Bethel Church in Detroit, a police provocation sparked asiege that poured 800 rounds into the church. Several convention members were wounded; onepoliceman was killed, another wounded, and the entire convention, 140 people, was arrested enmasse. When Reverend Franklin (father of "The Queen of Soul," singer Aretha Franklin) andBlack State Representative James Del Rio were informed of the incident they called Black judgeGeorge Crockett, who proceeded to the police station where he found total legal chaos.Almost 150 people were being held incommunicado. They were being questioned, fingerprinted,and given nitrate tests to determine if they had fired guns, in total disregard of fundamentalconstitutional procedures. Hours after the roundup, there wasnt so much as a list of personsbeing held and no one had been formally arrested. An indignant Judge Crockett set up court rightin the station house and demanded that the police either press charges or release their captives.He had handled about fifty cases when the Wane County prosecutor, called in by the police,intervened. The prosecutor promised that the use of all irregular methods would be halted.Crockett adjourned the impromptu court, and by noon the following day the police had releasedall but a few individuals who were held on specific charges.[23] Chaka Fuller, Rafael Viera, andAlfred 2X Hibbits were charged with the killing. All three were subsequently tried and acquitted.Chaka Fuller was mysteriously assassinated a few months afterwards.[24]"There are two reasons for the historical significance of this west side church: the accomplishments of itsfounder, the Reverend Clarence LeVaughn Franklin and the violent New Bethel incident of March 29,1969.History of the PG-RNA 16 |Page
  • Reverend Franklin was born in Mississippi in 1915, trained for the ministry in Memphis and becamepastor of a large Baptist church there in the late 1930s, then moved to a church in Buffalo and, in 1950,moved to very prosperous Detroit where he founded New Bethel. He developed a distinctive style ofpreaching that became a model for African American Baptist ministers. Indeed, CDs of his sermons arestill widely available for use in training preachers. In the mid-1950s, Reverend Franklin preached atchurches throughout the nation accompanied by a group of Gospel singers that included his daughterAretha, the soon to be famous star of Barry Gorkys Motown empire. The financial success of his toursplaced Reverend Franklin securely into Detroits emerging black middle class.In the early 1960s, blacks were well represented in the governmental structure of Detroit. The UAW andthe Michigan Democratic Party were committed to equal racial opportunities and the citys chapter of theNAACP was the nations largest and most economically secure, always ready to litigate racial issues. Butprogress was slow and a new generation of younger blacks demanded a much more rapid dismantling ofthe traditional racial hierarchy. Several more militant groups developed in Detroit in the early 1960schallenging the dominant position of the NAACP including GOAL (Group for the Advancement ofLeadership), UHURU (founded by Wayne State students who used this Swahili word for theirorganization); the Detroit chapter of SNCC (Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee) and RAM(Revolutionary Action Movement). They demanded black control of the institutions that determined thefate of Detroits African Americans. Several of their leaders, especially Robert F. Williams of RAM andthe SNCC leaders advocated using violence, if necessary, to secure black control of Detroit.Reverend Franklin, with the cooperation of Reverend Clague of the Shrine of the Black Madonna, alsolocated on Linwood, held an organizational meeting of these black power groups at New Bethel in May,1963. Their first action reflected the controversy between blacks that wished to use traditional means toeffect racial change and those who demanded immediate changes. Reverend Franklin invited Dr. MartinLuther King to Detroit for a "Walk to Freedom." This idea was quickly endorsed and supported by theUAW. On June 23, 1964, a massive march involving thousands took place on Woodward. Most picturesshow Revered Franklin, Reverend King and Walter Reuther leading the countless marchers. ReverendKing gave an impressive speech that, with only minor changes, became the "I Have a Dream Speech"delivered two months later at the Lincoln Memorial—undoubtedly the most remember and cited speechdelivered by an American in the last half of the last century. The success of the Detroit march led theUAW to provide much of the financial support and organizational skills need for the August 28 march inWashington. 1963 was the final year in which traditional civil rights organizations, the rather moderatesupporters of Dr. King, and the increasingly militant black groups effectively cooperated.History of the PG-RNA 17 |Page
  • Militant blacks in Detroit founded the Republic of New Africa (RNA) in 1968 - eight months after thedevastating 1967 riot. RNA leaders demanded that the federal government give blacks fivestates—Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina—and pay billions in reparationsto compensate for slavery. They were frequently seen as advocating that blacks use violence to get thesedemands if the government resisted.On March 29, 1969, 200 to 300 members of the RNA met at New Bethel Church to celebrate the firstanniversary of their organization. The meeting was adjourning about midnight when Detroit policeofficers Michael Czapski and Richard Worobec saw a dozen or so apparently armed men in camafloguealong Linwood. They stopped to investigate but Officer Czapski was instantly shot to death and OfficerWorobec wounded but managed to call for back up. Twenty minutes later, 50 Detroit police officersattempted to enter New Bethel. The commanding officer claimed the police were fired upon as their triedto enter the church. Once they broke down to the door, the police claim they came under rifle fire fromthe altar and sniper fire from the loft. These claims were disputed.The police arrested 142 inside the church, found 9 rifles, three pistols and ammunition. Reverend Franklininstantly altered African American who had risen to positions of power: State Senator James Del Rio andRecorders Court Judge George Crockett. Judge Crockett was not certain that the Detroit police wouldtreat these prisoners well so he was to the lock up and, by 6 AM, established a temporary court roomwhere he began releasing those who were arrested either on small bonds or on personal recognizance. Bynoon, Judge Crockett had released many—but not all—of those arrested including some that had testedpositive for nitrate burns. Judge Crockett also criticized police procedures and thus invalidated their rightto hold those arrested at New Bethel.The incident symbolzed Detroits racial polarization just a year and a half after the riots. The arrest ofmany armed RNA members and the shooting of police officers confirmed the fear of many that militantyoung black men in Detroit were well armed and ready to use violence to advance their own racial causes.And Judge Crocketts immediate release of those arrested confirmed the belief of some whites that ifblacks controlled the justice system they would use it to exonerate blacks accused of crimes. JudgeCrockett himself became a symbol of racial conflict as many whites signed petitions demanding his ousterwhile many blacks defended his unusual role in this controversy. Some years later, Judge Crockett waselected to Congress where he served several terms. Two defendants were tried in the shootings of OfficersCzapski and Worobec but there were no convictions.History of the PG-RNA 18 |Page
  • Reverend Franklin never apologized for the New Bethel incident. Indeed, he said that RNA would bewelcome to meet at his church again but he would prohibit guns. Given his political actions, it is notsurprising to find that he was the target of investigations. In 1967, he was charged with a failure to payfederal income tax. He pled guilty. In 1969,when returning from Mexico, Reverend Franklin was arrestedfor possession of marijuana but these charges were dropped. Befitting his prosperity, Reverend Franklinlived in a large and historically interesting home near his church in the 7400 block of LaSalle. In 1979, heapparently surprised robbers who were attempting to steal valuable windows. He was shot, went into acoma and died five years later. ADDENDUM IHISTORICAL MOVEMENT PHOTOS, FLYERS AND DOCUMENTSHistory of the PG-RNA 19 |Page
  • History of the PG-RNA 20 |Page
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  • RELATED:http://www.scribd.com/doc/129668970/PEOPLE-WITH-STRENGTH-in-Monroe-North-Carolina-by-Truman-NelsonHistory of the PG-RNA 24 |Page