Bulletin 670



Subject: George Brown.


24 October 2015
Grenoble, France



Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,


An American community activist and public intellectual has left us. The death of George Brown, born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on April 28, 1944

 a black militant close to the Black Panther Party-- was announced in the pages of Libération on October 14, 2015. He died in his sleep, at the age of 71, in his Paris apartment on October 9. Brown wrote of his early experiences and political education as an African American militant in the book, Nous, Noirs Americains évadés du ghetto (Seuil, combats, 1978).  A documentary film of his life, based on a series of interviews with the younger African American, Rashid Abdul-Salaam, of another generation, was produced by James Nicholson and Jan Swietlik in 2009. “Nobody Knows my Name” depicts the experiences of these two Black Americans, from different social backgrounds.


1972, George Brown, a wrongfully imprisoned fugitive and Black Panther sympathizer, together with 4 other accomplices, hijacked a flight from USA to Algeria to join the Black Panthers living there in exile, along the way collecting the highest ransom ever paid in an airline hijacking, 1 million dollars.

Between 2006 and 2008, the year of  the most symbolic election in American history, Rashid Abdul-Salaam learned of George's story and set off for Paris where George had been living for the past 41 years.  


This film is the product of conversations between these two men, as they explore the human cost of the civil rights struggle, the evolution of racism, and revisit a period in history where conflict seemed to be the only way to reach equality.


George Brown is survived by his wife of 34 years, Annie Bingham and their two nephews, Guillaume and Xavier.