Somebody in the crowd fired a pistol and the people again started to scream hysterically, ‘Kill the niggers! Kill the niggers! Pour gasoline on the niggers!’ The mob started to throw stones on top of my car. So I opened the door of the car and I put one foot on the ground and I stood up in the door holding an Italian carbine. All this time three policemen had been standing about 50 feet away from us while we kept waiting in the car for them to come and rescue us. Then when they saw that we were armed and the mob couldn’t take us, two of the policemen started running. One ran straight to me, grabbed me on the shoulder and said, ‘Surrender your weapon! Surrender your weapon!’ I struck him in the face and knocked him back away from the car and put my carbine in his face and told him that we didn’t intend to be lynched. The other policeman who had run around the side of the car started to draw his revolver out of the holster. He was hoping to shoot me in the back. They didn’t know that we had more than one gun. One of the students (who was 17 years old) put a .45 in the policeman’s face an told him that if he pulled out his pistol he would kill him.
The policeman started putting his gun back into the holster and backing away from the car and he fell into the ditch. There was a very old man, an old white man, out in the crowd, and he started screaming and crying like a baby, and he kept crying and he said, ‘God damn, God damn what is this God damn country coming to that the niggers have got guns, the niggers are armed and the police can’t even arrest them?!’ He kept crying and somebody led him away through the crowd.
Robert F. Williams
Telling the reason why he called his book “Negros with guns.” This book had an important influence on the Black Panther Party. The quote is a selection from the book.
Several years later, Williams explains why he felt that the old white man was crying:
"It took me a long time to understand his feeling. Now I realize why he was crying. Because the gun had been the thing that had always kept them on top, and the police power. And he could see that slipping away, and his way of life was going. And this is why he was crying. And this is why I named my book "Negro’s with Guns."