at the head of an army nor stealthily by night, Robert Franklin
began his journey back to his native land in Sept., 1969, knowing it
certain arrest. But when he tried to change planes in London,
World Airlines, claiming the FBI had warned them he was "extremely
refused to honor his air ticket.
What manner of man was it, the world press wondered, who was so feared that he could not enter the most powerful nation in history to surrender himself to its police?
Finally, TWA allowed him to board one of its flights, and a giant jetliner flew from England to the United States. Robert Franklin Williams was its only passenger. Eight years after fleeing to Havana and Peking, Black America's leading advocate of urban guerrilla warfare and a Socialist revolution had come home.
And then the mystery began.
Black Crusader is the dramatic story of the transformation of Robert Franklin Williams from an easily contented youngster who dreamt of being a poet into an arch-enemy of the U.S. power structure.
The evolution of a Black militant began in a little North Carolina town, when Williams at eleven learned the value of being willing to defend himself. In school and college, in an NYA camp, in the 1943 Detroit race riots, in industry, in the Army, in White radical circles, in housing, in the Marines, Williams saw and felt the weapons of racism: exploitation, segregation, discrimination, beatings, murder. And all his painful lessons culminated in the dramatic explosion in 1961 at Monroe, North Carolina, that catapulted him into international revolutionary circles-in Cuba, China, and Africa.
Included in these pages is exciting new information on Cuba and Red China - Williams' talks with Fidel Castro and Mao Tse-tung, the in-fighting with the Cuban Communist Party, the mystery surrounding Che Guevara's disappearance, the life of the common people in Cuba and China.
In candid clarity here appear Williams' blunt estimates of such men as Lyndon Johnson, Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy, Roy Wilkins, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Richard M. Nixon as he saw them in the crucible of action.
Above all, this is the revealing biography of a man-an enigmatic, charismatic figure, feared by the mighty, admired by millions, friend of statesmen, hunted by the FBI and CIA - who in another time and place might have lived out his days as a peaceful scholar or an obscure poet. No thoughtful American dares ignore his tragic, electrifying story.
Cover Photo by Frederick S. Smith
Photo of the author by Helene K. Cohen