How to Become a Soldier in the Black Liberation Army

Sixteen Tomes


  • Tony Gaskew


From 1970 to 1983, it is estimated that the Black Liberation Army (BLA), by way of armed resistance in the name of revolutionary justice, was responsible for expropriating the lives of dozens of police officers across the United States of America. Yes, as unbelievable, and as extra-terrestrial as it might sound today, there was a very brief period in U.S. history when there were consequences for indiscriminate acts of police violence against the Black community. As a Black man who was born and raised in the womb of the Black Power Movement in 1960s Chicago, and an ethnographic scholar on Black armed resistance and counterinsurgency violence directed at racialized people, I am often asked, what served as the intellectual inspiration? Was there a sort of “book list” to become a soldier in the BLA?