|Rev. Claude Black|
We all know that the FBI "interest" in activists illustrated by last weeks raids are nothing new. Who, after all, has not heard of COINTELPRO by now.
Recently, FBI files on San Antonio blacks who were active early on in the civil rights movement, including Rev. Claude Black, who passed away last March, reveal how easily the feds violate their own constitution without a second thought.
Rev. Black's support of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), wrote, Mario Salas in the African-American, was unwavering and his strong stand against police brutality eventually led to the demise of the Good Government League (GGL) and its hold on San Antonio politics.
One of the most important turning points in the history of San Antonio was the armed attack on the SNCC office in San Antonio. The San Antonio Police department (SAPD) officers attacked the headquarters of the organization after a massive protest in the streets of downtown against police brutality and the brutal killing of Bobby Jo Phillips.
San Antonio SNCC militants saw Black as an honest and progressive leader, and more representative of a community fighting against oppression. He accepted his role as a social justice preacher even when it was not popular to do so.
Needless to say, the FBI did not like Rev. Claude Black.
|Rev. Claude Black|
Civil Rights Warrior
The new information about federal surveillance in San Antonio comes as no surprise to local political science professor Mario Salas. The longtime civil-rights and anti-war activist regularly uses declassified FBI papers to teach his political science classes at UTSA and Northwest Vista College. Many of those documents are heavily redacted, he said, but he’s beginning to fill in the gaps. “I actually have about 3,000 pages on my own, where they spied on me,” said Salas. “I was being watched from 1968 to 1976.”
Crosses still burned and black cats were set on fire at the homes of known demonstrators, Williams said. “It was separate, but there wasn’t nothing equal about it, you know.”
Black later led a peaceful protest in front of the Alamo involving 18 “Negro ministers” and nine church members. “We come in protest of the use of bullwhips, of clubs, of violence against a people who merely sought an elementary right — the right to vote,” Black was quoted in the San Antonio Light, March 10, 1965.