A Collation of transcripts of a speech given by
H. Rap Brown on July 24, 1967, in Cambridge Maryland by Lawrence Peskin and Dawn Almes, Archival Interns, Maryland State Archives
    Note: the following collation is based upon a transcript made by Wayne E. Page which is an appendix to his masters thesis "H. Rap Brown and Cambridge Incident: A Case Study," University of Maryland, 1970, and is used with his permission. Mr. Page's transcript was checked against one which appeared in the 1967 Congressional hearings on the Antiriot Bill (H.R. 421), Part 1, pp. 31-36, and a court reporter's transcription made in 1967 or 1968 found among the papers of Governor Agnew. Bold words are as found in the Page transcription with the differences between it and the court reporter's transcription immediately following in brackets [ ]. The court reporter's version has two paragraphs and a sentence of a third at the beginning of the speech which do not appear in the Page or the Congressional transcript. Words in parentheses ( ) are found in the Page transcript but not in the court reporter's version.

    [Black Power. That's the way to say it. Don't be scared of these Honkies around here. Say Black Power. I come back a few years later and I still find Race Street out there still dividing the community. That ain't bad because we want to be by ourselves anyway, we don't want to be with no animals. A Honkie is an animal. A Cracker is an animal. We don't need to be with him. There is one thing we want to do. We are going to control our community.

    We ain't going to have the Honkie coming over here and appointing five or six nigger cops to come down here and control our community. That's what we are going to do. That's Black Power. That's what you talk about when you talk about Black Power.]

    [A great black man named Winston Hughes wrote a poem one time called A Dream Deferred] A poem went [which said]: "What happens to a dream that were [deferred]? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or does it fester like a sore [?] and then run? Or does it sag like a heavy load? Or does it explode?" Uh... that question was never anwered. Detroit answers [ed] that question. Detroit exploded. New York [Newark] exploded. Harlem exploded. Dayton exploded. Cincinnati exploded. It's time for Cambridge to explode, ladies and gentlemen [baby].

    They say [I heard someone up in Dayton once say, they say] "If Dayton don't come around, we are gonna [going to] burn Dayton down." Black folks built America. If America don't come around, we going [should] burn it down, brother. [And] We are going to burn it down if we don't get our share of it.

    It's [It is] time black folks stopped [to stop] talking about being non-violent `cause we [you] ain't non-violent towards [to] each other. Every Friday and Saturday you prove that. You cut up more people among your race than any other race.

    As for being [If you are going to be] violent, (you) don't be violent to your brother. Be non-violent in your communities [community] and let it end right there.

    "Take your violent [ce] to the hunkies. Take it to the (loud cheering blurred word) [cracker].

    (It takes a lot of effort...) It takes a lot of effort to love black in America. You've [have] been told all your life if you're [are] black, you're [are] wrong. If you're black, there's something wrong with you. [Something wrong with you, if you're black.] They tell you black cows don't give good milk; black hens don't lay eggs. Devil's food cake(s). You know, [when] you put on black to [you] go to funerals. When you put on white you go to weddings. They talk about flesh-colored band-aids. You [I] ain't never seen a black [colored]-flesh-colored band-aid. So [But] they tell you (there's) something wrong with (being) black.

    You've got to be proud of being [to be] black. You've got to be proud of being black. You can't run around here calling yourself (colored. And calling yourself) Negroes. That[`s] a word the honkies gave you. You're [are] black, brother, and be proud of it. It's beautiful

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[Just be proud] to be black. [It's beautiful to be black]. Black folks got to understand that. We built this country. They tell you you(`re) lazy. They tell you [And that] you stink. Brother, [do] you realize what the state be of this country if we was lazy? [that the slaves built this country? If we was lazy how we built this country?]
(Brother,) they captured us in [from] Africa and brought us over here to work for them. Now, who(`s) lazy? [Who is lazy?]

    He walks [runs] around and tells you: [that] "You Lazy." You don't want to work [do nothing]. All you want to do is lay around [down]. Hell! You can't do nothing but lay down after he done work[ed] you to death. I tell you what [I tell you what. Old Sam, before he died, he made a record saying change is going to come] (first thing I'm ( ) representing the change gonna come. Now) w[W]e got to make the change come, see? `Cause it's [That become] our job. Now, [cause you see,] my mother. She worked from kin to kate [can till can't] every day of her life. My old man Tommed [Tom] so I wouldn't have to. Brother, [we ain't got no excuse] the streets belong to us. We got to take them.

    They ain't gonna [going to] give it to us. We got to take `em [them]. (There) ain't no reason in the world why [for] on the other side of Race Street the honky pecker-wood "cracker" owns all the stores [and he takes our money from us. If I can't own, If I can't own my stores over here.] If I can't control my community over here, he ain't gonna [going to] control his over there. [He ain't going to control his over there.]

    They run around and [they] tell you [,they say,]: "Don't start no fight with the honky pecker [cracker] `cause he [you] can't win. He outnumber you. Hell! Don't you know they always outnumber us [, always they outnumber us]. David was outnumbered when he fought (the) Goliath. He was outnumbered. [Hell!] Daniel in the lion's den was outnumbered. Moses was outnumbered. All of us is [are] outnumbered. That don't make no difference . `Cause let me tell you, brother, we work[ing] in their houses. They ain't got to leave home [, they ain't got to leave home]. When they want to do work they [and] let us come in their house (and) that shows you how stupid the honky is. Cause [Because] he ain't got to leave home.

    And [Now] we look at what the man does to black people. A 10-year old boy in Newark (is) dead! A 19-year old boy shot 39 times, 4 times in the head. It don't take but one bullet to kill you. So they're [are] (really) trying to tell you something else. [They tell you] How much they hate you. How much they hate black folks. [They had a poke in the paper (unclear).] When they shot him 39 times they said: ["This nigger ain't dead,] "Die, nigger, die." And they shot him some more. [He was] 19-years old he's dead today. But we go over to Vietnam and fight the races crapper [racist cracker] war. We got to be crazy. Something's got to be wrong with black men. Our war is here.

    If I can die defending my Mother land, I can die defending my mother. And that's what I'm going [the one I want] to die defending first. See, you are less than a man if you can't defend [protect] your mother, [and] your brother and your family. You ain't doing nothing, brother. That war over there in Vietnam is not the war of [for] the black man. This is our war.

    (You've) got to understand what they are doing, though. America has laid out a plan to eliminate all black people who go against them. America is killing people down south by starving them to death in Alabama. Babies die. 500 people [kids] die a year for lack of [proper] food and nourishment. (And) yet we got enough money to go to the moon. Think about that. People in New York and Harlem go rife and bites to death [die from the bites of rats]. Big old rats bite them (to) death and you tell [the man] about it and the honkey say: "Hell, man, [he say] we can't do nothing about them rats." Do you realize this is the [same] man who exterminated the buffalo? [He killed the buffalo.] Hell, If he wanted to kill the [get rid of the] rats he could do it.

    (See), all this stuff is [called] genocide. This is what the Germans did to the Jews. They got black folks minds so they goin' [can] kill you off and you won't rebel. You won't do nothing but sit back and let them kill you off and that's what they(`re) doing. They're [are] killing you off. And they're [They are] escalating (it). They're [are] moving (it) up to kill as many black folks [people] as they can. You look at what happens when a brother goes to that war to fight. Do you realize the casualty rate [is 30% black]? (It's 30% black.) That means that 30% of

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everybody that [who] goes to Vietnam and gets killed is black. [And] They tell us we [is] just 10% of the United States. Something(`s) wrong with their [the] statistics. Something(`s) wrong with their [the] numbers. [You got to look at ] They say (the) brother[s] who in Vietnam comprise 22% of that fighting force and we 10% over here. You got to look at they killing you off.And they killing off the black young men, so ladies, you better get ready. [Cause] You got to fight them, too. You [ain't] got no business letting your brother, [and] your sons, your nephews go to that war. That ain't your war. All right, you'd [But you] better get you some guns. You(`s) better get you some guns. The man's [is] moving to kill you. And the only thing the [that] honkey respects is force. He proved this [it] up there in Plainfield, New Jersey. Let me tell you what he did in Newark. He killed 24 people. That's too many people to lose. We ain't got no business losing 24 people. (But) in Plainfield, which is about 12 miles from Newark, the brothers broke in some [into] stores and stole themselves some guns. They stole some guns. They stole [them] 46 guns. That ain't stealing. How can you steal from a thief? He(`s) done stole everything from us.

    He run around and he talk(s) about black people looting. Hell, he [is] the biggest [greatest] looter in the world. He looted us from Africa. He looted America from [the] Indians. Man can you [How can he] tell me about looting? You can't steal from a thief. This is the biggest thief going. So don't you worry about [that], but look what the brothers did in Plainfield. The brothers got their stuff. They got 46 automatic weapons [,46 automatic weapons]. So the peckerwood goes down there [and wants] to take the weapons and they stomp one of them to death. They stomp the cop to death. Good. He(`s) dead! They stomped him to death. They stomped him. You all might think that's brutal, but it ain't no more brutal than killing a pregnant woman. And that's what the honkey does. He kill[s] pregnant black women. They stomped him to death and threw a shopping basket on his head, took his pistol and shot him and then cut him. [And] You know he was hurt. [Yes] They don't like to hear about niggers cutting. They don't never want to hear about niggers cutting. But [And] they cut [him]. And [But] then they went back to their community with the(ir) 46 weapons and they told that peckerwood cop, they say [said]: "Don't you come
in(to) my community." We going to control our community. And the peckerwood cop says: "(Huh), well, we got to come down there and get them weapons." The brother(s) told him, "Don't come in my community." He didn't come. And the only reason he didn't come is [was `cause] he didn't want to get killed. And the brothers had the material to do it. They had 46 carbines down there. That's what he respects. Power. He respect[s] that kind of power. So, the next day they were [was] looking back [bad all] across the country, so they say, well, we going to go down there and take them guns. We going to search the houses. So the brothers say, "Cool." and they hid the guns. And they say we'll [said, well,] go [ahead] down there and look. So, when he went down there he started kicking down doors and tearing up brothers' property. and the brothers saw what was going on and the brothers told him: "If you kick down one more door, I'm [am] going to shoot your leg off." And look what the honky did. He left. That's the kind of force he respects.

    Brothers, you've got to [you better] get some guns. I don't care if its B-B guns [it is a B-B gun] with poison(ed) B-Bs. He's done [The man has] declared war on (the) black people. [He has declared war on black people and] He don't mind killing them. It might be your son he kills next. (Or) it might be your daughter. Or it might be you. So, wherever [whenever] you go, brother, take some of them with you. That's what you do, (brother.) An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth. Tit for tat, brother, that's the only kind of war that man knows. That's the only thing he recognizes. Ain't no need in the world for me to come to Cambridge and I see all (of) them stores sitting up [over] there and [with] all them honkies own [over there owning] them. You got to own some of them stores. I don't care if you have to burn him [them] down and run him [them] out. You'd better [You got to] take over them stores. The streets are yours. (Take `em.) They gave you the streets a long time ago; before they gave you houses. They gave you the streets. So, we own the streets. Take `em [them]. You've [You] got to take `em [them]. They ain't going to [won't] give them to you.

    Freedom is not a welfare commodity. It ain't like that old bad food they give you. They can't give you no freedom. You got to take your freedom. You were born free. You got to exercise that right though,

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brother, cause the honkey got you where he want(s) you.

    You making money for him. [So] If you make money for that honkey, you don't make money for yourself. You make money for him [. You make money for him and come home] and then take it back to him. And he take(s) it to his community. And he lets you live over here amidst your roaches, [and] your rats, and mosquitoes. And he lives over home. Then he comes back. You see that school, over there I don't know whether the honkey burned that school or not but y'all [you all] should have burned that school a long time ago. You should have burned it down to the ground [,brother]. Ain't no need in the world, in 1967, to see a school like that sitting over there. You should have burned it down and then go take over the honkey's school. Go take over his school(s). He burned down your Elks home be[`]cause he didn't want you out there doing no dancing and stuff. He wants you to go home and suffer the whole summer. He wants you to sit [set] in them hot houses and say [tell you], see what we can do to you when we get ready. He [We] control(s) you niggers. That's what he's been [he] telling you and [baby] you been sitting back there saying, "Yassuh, Yassuh [you all control us]." You been sitting back there telling him: "Yassuh, y[ou]'all control us [, yassuh]." They gave you 5 nigger cops who can't whip [came with] nothing but black heads.

    You've got to understand, that's part of that man's trick. [That's part of his trick.] You ain't making no progress [be]cause them niggers ain't walking but [and they are riding] in a car. (They think they're making progress, brother.) They ain't [think they are] making (no) progress. [Brother, that ain't no progress.] Not when they can't whip [How come they came with] no honkeys.

    You got to understand. You got to know that, all your enemies ain't white. You got some black enemies, too [, yassuh]. (And) when you find your enemies [y], brother, you got to get rid of him, just like you get rid of the honkey(s). Now if these cops down here, (if they) ain't doing what you want them to [do], then they shouldn't [oughtn't to] be in the community. Put [th]'em out of the community. You got the power. [If one of them, if a cop,] If a black cop ships [puts] a black brother and they ain't got no more than [but] one car. I know [that] they ain't going to give him [them] no more than one car. They're supposed [He is going] to be walking, (cause) from then on [because] I'm going to burn his car up. [Because] I know the white man ain't going to give him no other [another] car so that means he is going to be walking [walk]. [And] Every time he walks I'm going to bomb him with some bricks. I'm, going to run him out of town cause he ain't got no business here. He ain't nothing but a handkerchief-head nigger. A handkerchief-head nigger. He doing what the honkey want(s) him to do. And that's what all black people do. You got to [are doing who don't] fight that man. [You got to fight that man toe to toe.] We ain't behind in terms of manhood, brother; we behind in terms of executing him [it]. If a man runs around and let a honkey cop, or (a) black cop, beat his wife . . . and he don't do nothing, when his wife get(s) out of jail and go(es) home she oughta beat him. People laughed a few years ago when an [our] organization called the Deacons for Defense came up [out]. Brother[s], you got to [better] get you(rself) [a whole bunch of Deacons for Defense. Cause if you don't, you better start getting] a whole bunch of some sisters and some ushers for defense. Cause the man is moving. He's moving to kill black people. He might be doing it one by one but you look at it. [and] In Newark, they lost 24. Beautiful thing about Detroit [is that], they ain't lost but two [a tooth] and they killed three peckerwoods. Three peckerwoods. That's tit for tat.

    They burned down over a hundred million dollars worth of that peckerwood's property and that[`s] his god. Money is his god. Don't you let him tell you the church and the Bible is his god. You look at what he do, man. Who leads the prisoner to the electric chair? The preacher, And he say "Thou shalt not kill." A preacher! That's the way the man's mind works. That's the way it [he] works. He don't think nothing of black folks. All you can do for the honkey is work for him and spend your money in [at] his stores.

    That's all he wants you to do. He don't (even) want to see you no other time. He don't want to see you. But [Because], brother, he done told you black is bad and he believes[ing] it. But he don't know how bad black is until you show him. Black is bad, brother. Get that! Black is bad.

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    But you ain't knowing [You don't know] how bad black is. Until the brothers get their minds together and start moving on that man. You got to start talking about taking your community and controlling it. You got to control everything in your community from your Elk Hall to your school to your barroom. You got to control that. [Be]Cause if you can't [don't] control it, you see it's a weapon against you. Anything you don't control in your community is a weapon. Public education is a weapon. [Be]Cause they(`re) teaching people how to hate black. They(`re) teach(ing) little children how to hate black. They(`re) put(ting) in their old stinky [own stinking] history books that Columbus discovered America. How in the world is some (dumb) honkey going to discover a country with people living there? The Indian was here, but he was saying . . . he was saying that the Indian ain't human [be]cause he ain't white. So [we had to, it didn't start], the country didn't begin util we discovered it. And Columbus was looking for India. (To) show you how dumb he was, did you ever look [at] where India was is on the map? Columbus was the white Joe Louis. That's who [what] he was. He was the white Joe Louis. He didn't know nothing. [He didn't know nothing. Then he come back around and] He tells you that George Washington [,he tell you George Washington] is the father of the country and you should celebrate his birthday. And you do [it]. George Washington had slaves. He had your grandfathers, and your great-grandfathers and their (great-)grandfathers. They were his [He had] slaves. How he going to be the father of my country? That's a lot of junk, brother[s].

    He don't mean nothing to me. He just another dumb honkey. [He don't mean nothing.] Abraham Lincoln. [They tell you all niggers should love Abraham Lincoln. Huh-uh.] Love him for what? [Love him for what.] The only reason (he gave,) he declared war against [with] the north, is [was] cause they were losing money. He didn't dig no black folks. [He didn't dig black folks.] He didn't like you. But they got the stuff down there in their [that got in the] history books and you read it and you believe it. You run out (t)here and celibrate their birthday. (The) Fourth of July. Independence Day, and we still in chains. See, [There] ain't no such thing as second-class citizenship, brother; you either free or you (a) slave. Don't run around here telling nobody you [is] citizens. [You ain't. Know] How many black mayors (has) Cambridge got? None. Not [Got] none. How many black councilmen (has) Cambridge got? [None.]

    All you got is five nigger cops. [That's all you got. Five cops.] Them [Your] 5 cops ain't even working for you. [Because] If you was to go and march down Race Street tonight, the first one [to] hit you in the head, [and] try to lose all the strength [splinters] in his stick in your head, is going to be my man. See people run(ning) around. Yeah, they [its] got a whole bunch of Uncle Toms and you better watch them. [You got a whole bunch of Uncle Toms.] But let me tell you what to do with Uncle Toms. Of course, [Cause] the white man hate(s) niggers so bad, when he move(d) he moves against everybody. He moves agianst everybody, Uncle Toms included. One day you going to [gonna] wake up one morning and [you going to] be an(d) Uncle Tom knocking on your door saying [you going to know your Uncle Tom and your door knocking]: "Let me in, man [they after me]." You know what you do? [You] Open your door and give him a gun and tell him to shoot some of them. And if he shoots some of them, he can come in. [I know where he at cause I know the man really own him, see.] If he shoots a whole bunch of them, he can come in my house.

But, brother, the man hates everything black. Everything black but black Cadillacs and black shoes. Everything else black he ain't got nothing else to do with.

    Now we're gonna [And we got to] talk about Lyndon Johnson. Lyndon Johnson is the greatest outlaw going. He is a two-gun cracker. He(`s) killing black folks here and he(`s) killing them in Vietnam. That's Lyndon Johnson, your President. [That's your president, brother.] That's who he is. [That's who it is.] And they talk [tell you] about how bad Hitler was. At least before Hitler burned the Jews he killed them with gas. Lyndon Johnson is throwing napalm on human beings in Vietnam. Burning them to death. He(`s) burning babies. He(`s) burning hospitals. He can't be nothing but an outlaw. [He can't be nothing but an outlaw.] Any time a man sends a plane full of napalm over a village of children, [over school houses and blow them up and burn children, and] believe me, brother, the only reason he do [is doing] it, (brother), is because the Viet Cong is black, too.

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    You (are) going to have to start studying your history. You going to have [got] to understand that black folks is not a minority. We [They] got more black folks across the world than we [they] got white people. You got to start looking at China like brother[s], because they are yellow people. Viet Cong[s]. Some of the Viet Congs are browner than some of us [nigger]. They get [Or] . . . India. Indians are dark skinned people. These are the colored people of the world. These are the black people of the world. That's the third world [that] they be talking about. [All other people,] Now, the honkey is surrounded. He is surrounded. He don't know what to do. But, brother, believe me, he knows what to do here because you let him do it. (See), he done renovated 26 concentration camps across the world. If you don't know what a concentration camp is, let me run it down. You read about all them [heard about all the] Jews that got burned up by Hitler. They burned `em up, they take(n) them to concentration camps [And then they took them to the concentration camps] to the ovens. [They] Told them they were gonna [was going to] get showers and then they turned on the gas and took them out to a furnace and burned them. That[`s a] concentration camp(s).

    (Now), America done renovated 26 and they [it] ain't for the Indians, cause they [are] on reservations. [Now], think who it's for. All right, now that you know who it's for, [now that you know who it's for] look at the way we were then [being] four years ago. We were so non-violent it wasn't funny. Cause the white man told us we had to be non-violent and he would love us. And we believe[d him] it. All the while he was shooting us, he was telling us to love him to death. And we [was believing] believed it. [These twenty ] A few years ago, if the honkey President had sent out a letter with the President's seal on it saying report to the concentration camps at 9 o'clock in the morning, every nigger in America would have been there on time. [He would have been there on time.] And to follow that same thing, he'd tell you [, cause he know you love religion, see, he would tell you] to go in there and be baptized and he'd [he would] turn the gas on you. [See,] I mean(s), don't. . . religion [resistance] is good.

    I met [heard] a lady in Alabama once who said [say once, you know,] "Prayers is good in prayer meeting(s) but it ain't worth a damn in bear meeting(s)." Brother, you need the [meeting a] bear every day. You need the [meeting a] animal(s). You need the [meeting a] animal every day. [You see] He runs around and he tells you how bad you are but [look] how violent that man [is]. He tells you not to be violent [, but look how violent he is]. A few weeks ago, in the Bowery that's where all the poor, poor, trashy honky peckerwoods live who ain't got no money [cause they lazy and that's why they ain't got no money] they live in the Bowery, but look what happened: Some young honkeys went over and poured gas on these people and set them on fire. Bums, drunkards. They set `em on fire. [That's violence. See?] Charles Whitland [Whitman], in Texas, who shot all them honkies. . . That's violence. The white man don't never look at that. Vietnam is violence. But soon as you go out there and burn down a few old filthy stores, that you may own anyway, the man say you trying to be violent. [Hell,] We ain't trying [can't try] to be violent with him. He knows all about violence. He taught us how to be violent. But we been using our violence in the wrong way. We been using violence against each other. Ain't no need in the world for black people [to] have to fight each other. You ain't got no business in the world hating [hitting] your brother. I don't care if he make(s) you mad. If my brother make(s) me mad, I'm going to [gonna] go look for a honkey.

    I'm going to take out 400 years' worth of dues on him too. Every time you hit one of them take out 400 years' worth of dues, cause that's the dues he owe(s) you for knowing you and owing you. So every time you catch him, brother, you do it to him.

    And don't let him come into your community. Ain't got no reason [business] for white folks (to) be leisurely walking up and down your community. [You got no... ] He(`s) got no business [over here,] coming over [here], talking about taking black women out (of) your community. [You ain't a man, you ain't a man if you let that animal come over here and take a black woman out your community] To do what he want to do with her. And that's what he[`s] doing. He doing what he want to do with her. Brother[s], it's up to you to stop that. [You can stop that. I mean] You don't need God to stop that. You can stop that. (See,) God gave you two arms, [gave you] two legs and everything [just like] he gave [you everything] the honkey [gave you],

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but the honkey's been using his. You ain't been using yours.

    He's [You just] been running around here letting them do everything they want. I mean, don't be trying to love that honkey to death. Shoot him to death. [Don't love him to death.] Shoot him to death, brother. [Be]'Cause that's what he'[i]s out to do to you. "Do to him like he would do to you, but do it to him first." [Just like I told you, brother, like I told you.] Like I said in the beginning, if this town don't come [a]round, this town should be burned down. It should be burned down, brother. They(`re) going to have to live in the same stuff I live in [be]'cause I ain't going to [gonna] make it no better for them. [I ain't gonna make it no better for them.] But do this brother don't burn up your own stuff. Don't tear up your own stuff. Whenever you decide to fight the man, take it to his battleground. (It's) one thing that man respects. It's [That's] money. That's his god. When you tear down his store, you hit[ting] his religion. You hit him right where it hurt(s) him on Sunday. In his pocket. [That's the only god that man got.] That's his best friend. In his pocket. So, when you move to get him, don't tear up your stuff, don't tear up your brother's stuff, hear? [store here.]

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