NEGROES & THE GUN: BOOK REVIEW
"Gun! Just the word raises the temperature. Add Negroes and the mixture is incendiary.”
Nicholas Johnson’s Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms, is a book that exudes controversy, but is simultaneously focused on a subject that is nothing but rational sense. It is a revolutionary work of non-fiction that will blow open the truth regarding The Second Amendment and brush away the stigma around firearms that continues to exist in America and elsewhere.
The American Civil Rights Movement and the overall struggle for the rights of Black Americans has in recent memory been considered a fight of passive resistance. It manifested itself in marches, sit-ins, and speeches to establish within the American mindset, the belief in racial equality. For the most part it was, but what underlined the movement and what few understand is the stalwart belief of King and others in self-defense and the open embrace of the Second Amendment. This tradition is the focus of Johnson’s book.
Beginning with an historical perspective, Johnson establishes that African slaves have been resisting their masters ever since they first landed in the Americas, and that an opposition to the means of resistance has existed since the 17th Century, a tradition which continues even now within and outside of Black communities in America. It is full of examples, speeches, and philosophical arguments between two perspectives: Self-Defense and Political Violence, the latter philosophy Johnson openly condemns.
The profundity of Johnson’s book comes not however, from an “Us too” perspective as one might expect (a la. A Girl & A Gun), to simply display that the Second Amendment as a right expressed by a diverse background. Instead Johnson uses a comprehensive selection of primary sources from both the 19th and 20th Centuries to empirically frame the Black tradition of arms that has existed across America for centuries. This is where Johnson’s book makes its impact, it reads like an untold history, an undercurrent of patriotic behavior that has been well washed over by the modern interpretation of individuals like King, and the softening of their powerful message. There is hardly a page that doesn’t fill the reader with an empowered sense of historical understanding, and it is a book well worth reading. We can only hope it becomes a contemporary classic of American history and Black patriotism. With figures emerging in the media during this period of controversy like Johnson, NRA spokesperson Colion Noir, and organizations like the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, hope exists that this proud tradition and excellent book will be carry forward to our posterity.
NRA PERSONALITY COLION NOIR.
THE HUEY P. NEWTON GUN CLUB, DALLAS, TX.