Oguejiofo Annu – The Deacons: Armed Resistance in the Civil Right Movement

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A secret militia of armed black men ready to defend themselves in those white-supremacy hey days of the 1950s and 1960s.

Does it sound fantastic?

But this is true history. The civil right movement was not won on a platter of gold. It did not come about due to the inherent goodness of the so-called white political class who engineered the oppression of black people in the first place.

The civil right movement was a two armed pincer movement. There was the moral condemnation, and spiritual indictment front led by people like Rosa Park, Martin Luther King jnr, Malcom X and others. It was characterized by powerful rhetoric and civil disobedience.

Then there was the faceless, nameless, cloak and dagger aspect, where armed so-called black men battled it out with armed so-called white men, including police and KKK.

The violent aspect of the African American Emancipation movement has been hidden behind an officially sanitized version of a genial, peaceful, church-type civil right movement.

The Deacons

There was a secretive, paramilitary organization of so-called black men called the Deacons for Defense and Justice.

It had been formed in 1964, in Jonesboro, Louisiana led by Earnest “Chilly Willy” Thomas and Frederick Douglas Kirkpatrick, mainly to protect unarmed civil rights demonstrators from the anger of the KKK, a white-power supremacist group that ruled America since the end of the civil war in the 1860s.

The KKK was one of the chief defenders of the slavery era, the Jim Crow era, and even the ongoing oppression of so-called black people of today through various means. The KKK used violence, murder, pillage and intimidation to enforce its will.

In the civil right era, the KKK was busy orchestrating murderous attacks on the so-called blacks who dared to demand respect for their humanity. Many beautiful black men and women, as well as some white supporters and civil rights workers lost their lives at the behest of this evil and criminal organization.

Organizations like the Deacons were formed to put a stop to this depredation.

Secret membership, stealth and devastating operations were their hallmarks. They delivered the right retributions to threats and criminal acts of the KKK membership.

The Deacons for instance operated throughout the Southern states of the United States of America. They veered away sharply from the non-violent philosophy of Martin Luther King jnr. They followed instead the laws of the biblical Moses, practicing an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.

They were armed to the teeth. They were powered by the idealism of the moment. They were inspired, and they did not fear to die. They claimed their weapons were for the protection of their communities and when need they cited the second Amendment. They used those weapons willing, and strategically when they had to do so. Many KKK men were identified, tracked, murdered or maimed by the Deacons.

KKK not being used to challenged was first shocked, then outraged and it reacted with extreme violence. The fight was brutish and very violent. It was also short. Like a contest between Mohammed Ali and Henry Cooper. The KKK suffered a bloodied knock out. Then it got terrified. It has feared the black man from that day up to now. It called out for help from the federal authorities.

In one famous incident, a Bogalusa Deacon pulled a pistol in the broad daylight during a protest march in 1965 and put two bullets into legs of a so-called white man who had physically attacked him. Bogalusa was one of the most virulent KKK communities in the United States. – See The New York Times Obituaries Sunday April 25, 2010.

According to Lance Hill author of “The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement” (2004), the Klan did not like being shot at.

The armed hostility in Bogalusa (and similar small towns) got so charged, with the so-called white shrieking for some sort of intervention, that the federal government had to step in, perhaps to defuse what could potentially have turned to a race war in America, a race war they knew that they could never win.

So the feds called a truce between the two sides, between the grand old privileged KKK posse, which had ruled with impunity for so long, and the insurgent but powerful new champion around the block, the so-called Black Deacons.

The civil right laws were quickly passed. Promises of amends were made. Quota systems, affirmative actions, funding of education, all that came in the wake of the acts of those great men who lived their lives so sublime.

According to Adam Fairclough, in his book “Race and Democracy: The Civil Rights in Louisiana 1915 – 1972” (1965), Bogalusa became “a major test of the federal government’s determination to put muscle into the Civil Rights Act in the teeth of violent resistance from whites”.

If one remembers carefully, in the pre-civil rights era, rape of black women by white men in the United States had become so common place that it was socially accepted in white communities. It will be hard to recall one instance where a so-called white man ever suffered retribution for the rape of a black woman, in those days.

Today, incidents where so-called white men raping black women is relatively low compared to the days before black power movements.

It was action like those deployed by the Deacons, and similar organizations that struck living fear into the hearts of any would-be rapist that would imagine black women as easy targets.

Sadly today, it is the so-called blacks who lead the degradation of their own women in some many ways. This is perhaps true, given the way the acts of the heroes before us have been buried under a mass of Hollywood developed lies.

We have forgotten those who fought and died for us. The heroines and the sacrifices they made for us. Where their inspiration and examples should lead us, we are led by cartoon characters invented by a racist and spiritually wicked Babylon system.

Today the Deacons and similar organizations are less than a footnote in our collective memory. Their stories have been replaced with a mythology that the civil rights movement was always a non-violent cry for attention by “the negroes” and “the white man’s rational, compassionate and democratic response to it”.

Robert Hicks was one such Deacon. He was the leader of the Deacons in Bogalusa, La., in those charged days between 1964 and 1970. He joined the revered ancestors, at the age of 81 on April 13 2010, in Bogalusa, a county he set free from the chains of apartheid and racism.

He led protests and marches, in the day. At night, he prowled like a black panther because he was also a member of the Deacons.

He did not scratch his head and bow to an evil system. No! Instead,he stood up like a Noble and took back his true place.


The Deacons were replaced by other contemporary but eventually more powerful black power movements like the Panthers, the Fruit of Islam (military wing of the Nation of Islam), and others without names or known membership.

The struggle for truths, rights and justice continues.

Oguejiofo Annu

December 09, 2012

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