Neither at the head of an army nor stealthily by night, Robert Franklin Williams began his journey back to his native land in Sept., 1969, knowing it meant certain arrest. But when he tried to change planes in London, Trans World Airlines, claiming the FBI had warned them he was "extremely dangerous," 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 Stats. 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 Monre, 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.
Robert Carl Cohen became the first U.S. citizen to
film Inside Red China & in 1963-64 the first U.S.
citizen to receive U.S. State Dept. & Cuban Foreign
Ministry authorization to film in Cuba. He wrote,
produced, and directed the TV specials "Inside
Red China" & "Three Faces of Cuba."; & is the
writer, producer & director of two Hollywood films,
as well as many documentaries. As a public lecturer,
he gave over 1,000 film lectures in the United States
& Canada. His first book was The Color of Man (1968).
Born in 1930, he has two daughters.