Black Liberation Army Papers (1963-1998)
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Biography

The Black Liberation Army (BLA) was a Black Nationalist-Marxist organization which largely consisted of former Black Panther Party (BPP) members. The organization operated from 1970-1981. The Black Liberation Army began to strengthen during the collapse of the Black Panther Party. BP Minister of Defense, Huey Newton, began to renounce political violence after his release from prison and expelled member Eldridge Cleaver and his followers, who did not agree with Newton's new views. While Cleaver did not lead the BLA, members were loyal to his ideas at the time. The BLA became known for violent acts including robberies and bombings. The belief of the BLA was that an armed front was necessary in order to fully liberate African Americans. The BLA began to deteriorate around the time of the 1981 Brinks robbery which involved several senior BLA members and resulted in the death of one guard and two police officers.

The principles of the BLA were:

• "That we are anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, anti-racist and anti-sexist."

• "That we must of necessity strive for the abolishment of these systems and for the institution of Socialistic relationships in which Black people have total and absolute control over their own destiny as a people."

• "That in order to abolish our system of oppression we must utilize the science of class struggle, develop this science as it relates to our unique national condition."

Sources:

The BLA Coordinating Committee, Message to the Black Movement: A Political Statement from the Black Underground

CourtTV Crime Library, Ambush: The Brinks Robbery of 1981