Bob Brown-Longtime organizer for the AAPRP GC and SNCC, On Ward Churchill’s Misrepresentation of the Truth in Regard to AIM and the African Liberation Movement

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Bob Brown. I am an organizer for the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC). I have had the honor to serve in and support the student and youth, civil and human rights, Black Power, national liberation and unification, Pan-African, socialist, peace, anti-repression and other movements since 1963, almost three-fourths of my life. I have also had the privilege to work with Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) from 1967 to 1998, as a member and/or supporter of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Black Panther Party (BPP), the Democratic Party of Guinea (PDG), the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (A-APRP), the Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania (South Africa) and a host of other movements and organizations throughout Africa, the African Diaspora and the World. Click here, for more information.
It is with extreme sadness that I write this open letter to SUNY Press. Our allies in the American Indian Movement have requested that I do so. I hope that it is taken with the honest and sincere intent in which it is written. I was contacted recently by Dr. Charles Jones (University of Cincinnati) and Dr. Akinyele Umoja (Georgia State University) regarding a manuscript that they are producing about Kwame Ture. They informed me that SUNY Press was interested in publishing a book about him, and had requested that they submit a manuscript for review and possible approval. We thank you for your interest. Please understand that Dr. Jones and Dr. Umoja enjoy our warmest respect and highest regard.
They asked me to submit a chapter on “Ture and COINTELPRO,” and to possibly serve as one of the co-editors. After much discussion with the A-APRP (GC), Kwame’s Family, the leadership of the American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council, and several academicians and organizers whom I respect, I declined to participate in this Project.  I had several reasons for doing so. Frankly, the proposed chapter outline and list of presenters presented too many challenges and land mines, and few, in my view, had any real substantive knowledge about Kwame Ture. The most important reason was because Ward Churchill had been asked to write a chapter on “Kwame Ture and AIM.”
To his credit, Churchill allegedly asked the editors if they had talked to me about this Project. To his discredit however, he failed to tell them why he thought it necessary for them to do so. Perhaps he hoped that I had some how mellowed after our previous confrontations; had some how forgotten or misplaced my letter to him dated March 4, 1994; or forgiven what I considered then and now to be his “factual, legal and historical inaccuracies” regarding his misunderstanding—to put it diplomatically and mildly—about several projects that the A-APRP and AIM worked on jointly. See the links below to my 10-page letter to Churchill and Russell Means in 1994. It is posted on the American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council’s website:
Churchill has never apologized for nor corrected these lies, this slander, libel and defamation despite repeated offers on my part to produce uncontestable proof of their inaccuracy. I can forgive his ignorance about AIM’s and the A-APRP’s affairs, but I can never forget, nor forgive his arrogance and COINTELPRO-like behavior, especially from one who purports to be an expert on COINTELPRO.
I cannot perpetuate, or aid and abet in the perpetuation of the lie that Ward Churchill knows about, or will correctly portray the truth about Kwame Ture’s relationship to the American Indian Movement. Dr. Martin Luther King is right, “a time comes when silence is betrayal.” That time has come for me once again. I could never lend my name or credibility or silence to Ward Churchill’s lies. He knows little or nothing about Kwame Ture’s and our relationship to the American Indian Movement, and cannot be trusted to write it truthfully or with the integrity and dignity that it deserves.
As a historical and continuing victim of COINTELPRO and academic censorship, I do not ask that SUNY Press refuse to print this book, or whatever rubbish Churchill might write. I do expect however that you will uphold your legal, ethical, moral and academic obligation to review it, especially Churchill’s chapter, seriously, and vet it legally, before publication.
Our thirst for “academic freedom” and for more information about the history of the 1960s cannot be misused to peddle fiction and lies, or miseducate generations of youth, many of whom are as yet unborn. The historiography and iconography of Kwame Ture is encumbered with enough myths and errors—omissions, half-truths and lies. We do not need or want anymore of Ward Churchill’s lies!
This open letter has been sent to several Indigenous and African media outlets and webpages, and will be posted publicly, worldwide! It is circulating on the Internet and various social networks. I am sure that you will hear from members and the leadership of several Indigenous and Chicano Nations and organizations soon!
Again, we hold Dr. Jones, Dr. Umoja and SUNY Press in the highest regard and thank you for your efforts to “give voice” to Kwame Ture.
Bob Brown
(202) 239-1651