Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (born October 4, 1943, as Hubert Gerold Brown), also known as H. Rap Brown, came to prominence in the 1960s as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and later the Justice Minister of the Black Panther Party.
Brown was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He became known as H. Rap Brown during the early 1960s. While attending Southern University (1960 to 1964) he joined the civil rights organization, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He became Alabama project director in 1966 and national director of SNCC after Stokely Carmichael left in May, 1967.
By 1968 Brown had completely abandoned his pacifist beliefs and joined the Black Panther Party. He quickly developed a reputation for his strong views reflected in his book, Die Nigger Die! (1969). Associated with the rallying call, “Burn, Baby, Burn”, Brown was arrested and charged with inciting people to riot and committing arson. He was also accused of importation of a weapon into Louisiana.
Imprisoned several times between 1967 and 1970, Brown was eventually shot and captured by New York City police during an armed robbery. Sentenced to a term of from five to fifteen years in Attica Prison, Brown was paroled in 1976. Converting to Islam, he changed his name to Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin.
After his release in 1976 Al-Amin became a grocery store owner in Atlanta. He also became leader of the National Ummah, one of America’s largest Black Muslim groups.
In March 2000 he was charged with murdering a police officer and injuring his partner in a gun battle outside Al-Amin’s grocery store. Despite some controversy surrounding the evidence, Al-Amin was convicted in 2002 and is currently serving a life sentence. He is presently at a high security Federal facility in Tucson, Arizona.